MARINETTE, Wis., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-led industry team completed a key milestone in constructing the nation's third Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) with the landing of the vessel's two main propulsion diesel engines. LCS 3, named Fort Worth, is on track for delivery to the U.S. Navy in 2012.
More than 85 percent of the ship's modules are under construction at the Marinette Marine shipyard. Lockheed Martin has reduced labor costs on LCS 3 by 30 percent by applying lessons from building LCS 1, the USS Freedom. The overall LCS 3 program is on-cost and on-schedule.
"We continue to make great progress building Fort Worth," said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Ship & Aviation Systems business. "Applying lessons learned from building USS Freedom, the Lockheed Martin team invested millions of dollars to improve production efficiencies, including the installation and use of higher-capacity, higher-efficiency overhead cranes, plasma-cutting tables and pipe-bending machines. Marinette Marine Corporation is a quality shipbuilder that puts their heart and soul into this ship, and it really shows."
Designed to operate in coastal waters, the LCS provides the Navy with a fast, agile shallow-draft warship that maximizes mission flexibility. The vessel is a highly automated surface combatant that can accommodate numerous mission packages, providing the flexibility to execute focused missions such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, as well as other potential missions.
Fort Worth's recently landed Fairbanks-Morse 16-cylinder diesel engines are a critical part of the Lockheed Martin team's proven LCS propulsion system, which incorporates diesel and gas turbine engines with steerable water jets. The two diesel engines will provide Fort Worth with an economical cruising speed range of more than 3,500 nautical miles.
"It's very exciting to see such excellent progress on the future USS Fort Worth," said Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-12-Texas), the ship's sponsor, whose congressional district encompasses the city of Fort Worth. "All of us in Fort Worth, and in the great state of Texas, are looking forward to christening this important ship and seeing it operating in the U.S. Navy's Fleet with USS Freedom."
In September, the team landed Fort Worth's two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines – the largest gas turbines installed on any Navy ship class – which will allow Fort Worth to sustain sprint speeds of well over 40 knots. The innovative propulsion system's two fixed and two steerable Rolls-Royce water jets provide superior maneuverability for mission execution.
The same propulsion system has successfully powered USS Freedom (LCS 1) more than 8,000 nautical miles since that ship's commissioning in November 2008. In October 2009, the Navy announced it would deploy USS Freedom early in 2010, two years ahead of schedule.
Lockheed Martin's LCS team delivered the first-of-class USS Freedom to the fleet in only six years from its initial concept, half the time of traditional naval combatant shipbuilding programs. Team members include naval architect Gibbs & Cox, ship builders Bollinger Shipyards and Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, as well as other domestic and international teammates.
Designed to operate in littoral waters, the Lockheed Martin-led team's LCS features a semi-planing steel monohull that provides the Navy with a survivable, fast, and agile shallow-draft warship, which maximizes mission flexibility and accessibility. With a proven open architecture networked, combat-management system common to other surface combatants in U.S. and international navies, the Lockheed Martin team's LCS provides unprecedented levels of reliability and interoperability with global maritime forces.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.
For additional information, visit our website: http://www.lmlcsteam.com
SOURCE Lockheed Martin