MARINETTE, Wis., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led industry team launched the nation's fifth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Milwaukee, into the Menominee River at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard.
The ship's sponsor, Mrs. Sylvia M. Panetta, christened Milwaukee with the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle across the ship's bow just prior to the launch.
"It is a true privilege to serve as the sponsor for this ship as she begins her journey of service and commitment to our powerful Fleet," said Mrs. Panetta. "I am proud to support the ship's crew members over the course of her service to ensure she leads with strength and protects our freedom. My congratulations to the city of Milwaukee as this ship assumes its name."
Following christening and launch, Milwaukee will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in 2015.
"We are honored to continue building these critical warships for the U.S. Navy," said Dale P. Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business. "As the service prepares to retire three ship classes in this strenuous budget environment, the Lockheed Martin-team's LCS is helping to fill those gaps affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions."
The U.S. Navy awarded the contract to construct Milwaukee in December 2010. The ship is one of four LCS currently under construction at Marinette Marine.
"Marinette Marine is proud to provide another finely crafted warship to our nation's warfighters, especially one that bears the name of the largest city in our home state," said Chuck Goddard, president and CEO of Marinette Marine Corporation. "With the Milwaukee, Marinette Marine Corporation is now in full serial LCS production, an exciting accomplishment made possible by our skilled and dedicated workforce and our parent company, Fincantieri's, investment of $100 million."
The Lockheed Martin-led team designed and built USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). USS Freedom recently departed from the U.S. 7th Fleet following successful multi-national maritime exercises during her deployment to Southeast Asia. USS Fort Worth has completed her scheduled maintenance period and is currently in her San Diego homeport. Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) are in various stages of construction at MMC.
Wichita (LCS 13) and Billings (LCS 15) are in the early stages of material procurement.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation's net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.
About Marinette Marine
Founded in 1942, Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) is located on the Menominee River flowage into Green Bay. The largest shipyard in Wisconsin and the Midwest, MMC has delivered more than 1,300 vessels for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and commercial customers, including the technologically advanced Littoral Combat Ship Freedom variant for the U.S. Navy. In 2008, MMC along with several sister shipyards also based in the Great Lakes region, became part of FINCANTIERI SpA, the largest shipbuilder in the western Hemisphere and the fourth largest in the world. FINCANTIERI operates in the United States through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group, serving both civilian and government customers. Over the past five years, FINCANTIERI invested more than $100 million in both capital infrastructure and its resources to support MMC's transformation into what is now one of the best shipyards in the United States. Employing approximately 1,400 employees, today MMC is a state-of-the-art, full service new construction shipyard.
About Gibbs & Cox
Gibbs & Cox, the nation's leading independent maritime solutions firm specializing in naval architecture, marine engineering and design, is headquartered in Arlington, Va. The company, founded in 1929, has provided designs for nearly 80 percent of the current U.S. Navy surface combatant fleet; approaching 7,000 naval and commercial ships have been built to Gibbs & Cox designs.
SOURCE Lockheed Martin