Light Off Turns Lights On For LCS 3

Lockheed Martin–led team achieves key milestone in production of “on schedule, on budget” Fort Worth


file The Lockheed Martin-led Littoral Combat Ship team recently achieved a key milestone onboard the Fort Worth, the nation’s third LCS, with the “light off” of the ship’s four diesel generators.

Light off.  Lights on.

It sounds like a jingle for The Clapper, the audio activated on/off switch advertised incessantly on TV for the past 25 years.  For the Lockheed Martin-led Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) industry team, though, it’s the sound of success.

The team achieved a key milestone onboard the nation’s third LCS, Fort Worth, on May 13 with the “light off” of the ship’s four 750-kilowatt Fincantieri Isotta Fraschini diesel generators. This signifies the ship is coming to life by enabling workers to use the vessel’s own power to turn the lights – and other electrical systems – on for the first time.

Fort Worth will undergo a series of light offs in advance of sea trials scheduled for later this year. During this time, the Lockheed Martin team will continue its dock-side testing of the ship’s systems at Marinette Marine in Wisconsin. Fort Worth will be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2012.

“The generator light off is an important milestone in preparing Fort Worth to complete testing and set sail, bringing us one step closer to delivering the Navy its next ship in this class,” said Joe North, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Littoral Ship Systems business. “Throughout this process, the team has remained focused on building on our experience while remaining on schedule and on budget.”

The Lockheed Martin industry team designed and constructed the nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom, which has sailed more than 50,000 nautical miles and demonstrated its capabilities since its commissioning in 2008. Homeported in San Diego, Calif., the ship completed a highly successful maiden deployment in 2010 and is now fully integrated into the fleet.

In addition to Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, the Lockheed Martin-led team for LCS 3 includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as best-of-industry domestic and international companies.