MARINETTE, Wis., May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy's 19th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS St. Louis, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship.
"It is a tremendous honor to serve as the sponsor of the future USS St. Louis," Taylor said. "The keel-laying ceremony is a great milestone, and I look forward to supporting the ship and its crew throughout the building process. I know the people of St. Louis and Missouri will proudly support her when she is commissioned and officially enters the Navy fleet."
The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered four ships to the U.S. Navy to date. The future USS St. Louis is one of seven ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with two more in long-lead production.
"We are proud to build another proven warship that allows our Navy to carry out their missions around the world," said Joe North, vice president and general manager of Littoral Ships and Systems. "We look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to continue building and delivering highly capable and adaptable Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships to the fleet."
LCS 19 will be the seventh ship to bear the name USS St. Louis. The first St. Louis, a sloop of war, was launched in 1828. Other ships to bear the name included an ironclad gunboat commissioned in 1862, a troop transport commissioned in 1898, a protected cruiser in commission from 1906 to 1922, a light cruiser commissioned in 1939, and, most recently, a Charleston-class amphibious cargo ship in service from 1969 to 1991.
The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. The Freedom-variant's steel monohull design is based on a proven, resilient design recognized for its stability and reliability.
Costing less than a third of a brand new Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the Littoral Combat Ship is the Navy's most affordable surface combatant shipbuilding program and the ideal platform to grow the U.S. Navy fleet quickly and affordably.
For additional information, visit our website: www.lockheedmartin.com/lcs
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
About Fincantieri Marinette Marine
Founded in 1942, Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) is located on the Menominee River flowage into Green Bay. The largest shipyard in the Midwest, FMM has delivered more than 1,300 vessels to 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, FMM along with several sister shipyards also based in the Great Lakes region, became part of Fincantieri, one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups and number one by diversification and innovation, with almost 21,000 employees, of whom approximately 7,700 in Italy, 21 shipyards in 4 continents. 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 FMM's transformation into what is now one of the best shipyards in the United States. Employing approximately 1,500 employees, today FMM 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, Virginia. 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.
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SOURCE Lockheed Martin