Move Over Tigers, Here Comes LCS 7

Navy lays the keel of the next Littoral Combat Ship – the future USS Detroit – during ceremony
 

LCS 7 Keel Laying During the keel-laying of the future USS Detroit Nov. 8 at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, ship sponsor Barbara Levin, the wife of Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, authenticated the keel by having her signature welded into it.

Detroit is home to the auto industry, the Motown sound and the American League champion Tigers. And now Michigan’s largest city has another reason to show its pride.

The U.S. Navy celebrated the keel-laying of the future USS Detroit Nov. 8 at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, where the nation’s seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is under construction by a Lockheed Martin-led team.

During the traditional ceremony, ship sponsor Barbara Levin, the wife of Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, authenticated the keel by having her signature welded into it. She was assisted by Rear Admiral James Murdoch, the Navy’s Program Executive Officer – Littoral Combat Ships.

“It’s an honor to participate in this event for the future USS Detroit,” said Sen. Levin. “The keel laying ceremony marks a great milestone for the program and the naval fleet. These ships are vital to our national defense strategy and their production contributes significantly to the Wisconsin and Michigan economies.”

Originally, a ship’s keel-laying meant the beginning of construction. Now, the ceremony marks the ship’s symbolic start. Modern warships are largely built in a series of pre-fabricated hull sections rather than a single keel, so now the shipbuilding process starts when the first sheet of steel is cut. 

The LCS is the Navy’s newest surface combatant and is designed to defeat threats and provide dominance in coastal waters. A fast, maneuverable and networked ship, the LCS provides the capabilities and flexibility to execute focused missions close to shore, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.

The Detroit is the fourth LCS being built by the Lockheed Martin team, which includes Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine and naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as domestic and international teammates.

The team built the Navy’s first LCS, the USS Freedom, which is currently preparing for deployment to Singapore next year.  USS Fort Worth was commissioned in September, and construction of the team’s third Freedom variant LCS, Milwaukee, also is underway at Marinette. The team is procuring long-lead materials for its next two LCSs – Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11).

For more coverage of the Detroit’s keel-laying ceremony, check out these stories:

 

Posted November 8, 2012