23 Nov 2018

US Navy commissions Littoral Combat Ship 11

The US Navy has commissioned USS Sioux City (LCS 11), the sixth Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship to be built by Lockheed Martin.

The Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is unique in that it integrates new technologies to affordably support current and future operations, in deep water and the littorals alike. Crucially, LCS 11 is also able to support surface warfare.

For the US Navy, this is the most recent milestone in the much-publicised LCS programme. Earlier in the year, LCS 5 and 7 successfully completed Longbow Hellfire missile testing, while LCS 9 undertook RAM testing, later participating in Fleet Weeks around the United States with LCS 5.

“We are confident that LCS 11 will be what the navy needs, when the fleet needs it,” said Joe DePietro, Vice President of Small Combatants and Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin. “We remain focused on delivering these ships as quickly as possible with increasing capability and lethality. These ships will have a long lifespan, and we’re working with the navy to make LCS even stronger and more resilient.”

“LCS is our most effective fleet asset to counter asymmetric small craft threats,” added Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson. “This ship and the ships like her are going to complicate any adversary’s operating picture. You’re going to need to keep track of Sioux City when she’s at sea, because if you don’t, she’s going to make you pay for that.”

Currently, seven ships are in various stages of production and testing at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, where the Freedom-variant LCS is built. The next Freedom-variant is LCS 13, the future USS Wichita, which is scheduled for commissioning in Mayport, Florida this January. Additionally, LCS 19 will be christened on 15 December.

“Two thousand men and women crafted this ship from flat steel to the capable and agile surface combatant being commissioned,” concluded Jan Allman, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. “The men and women who sail this ship have an enormous responsibility in protecting our nation and allies, and we consider it a privilege to support these missions. I am confident that when called upon, the USS Sioux City will always prevail.”

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