Nation’s First Littoral Combat Ship Departs for Maiden Deployment
MAYPORT, FL, 02/16/2010 --
The nation's first Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom (LCS 1), departed from Naval Station Mayport, Fla., today for its maiden deployment, approximately two years ahead of schedule.
The agile 378-foot USS Freedom, designed and built by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led industry team, will deploy to the Southern Command area of responsibility.
"We congratulate the USS Freedom and her crew on their maiden deployment as this new class of Littoral Combat Ships begins to fulfill important global security missions," said Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Bob Stevens. "Her quality and proven performance enabled Freedom's deployment two years ahead of schedule, a significant accomplishment in naval shipbuilding. As we compete to build additional ships for the U.S. Navy, the Lockheed Martin team remains focused on delivering an affordable surface combatant with the flexibility to provide security close to shore and on the open seas."
USS Freedom (LCS 1) is the first of 55 the Navy plans for a new class of ships designed to operate in coastal waters. Her capabilities have been fully demonstrated since the ship was delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2008. Freedom has sailed more than 10,000 nm, successfully completed sea trials and demonstrated performance of combat, communications and other critical systems.
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 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.