Navy Accepts Delivery of Two LCSs
MARINETTE, Wis. — The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of two littoral combat ships (LCSs), the future USS Sioux City (LCS 11) and USS Wichita (LCS 13), during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on Aug. 22, Naval Sea Systems Command said in a release.
Sioux City and Wichita, respectively, are the 14th and 15th LCSs to be delivered to the Navy and the sixth and seventh of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. These deliveries mark the official transfer of the ships from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning. Both ships will be commissioned later this year, Sioux City in Annapolis, Maryland, and Wichita in Jacksonville, Florida.
Regarding the LCS deliveries, Capt. Mike Taylor, LCS program manager, said, “The future USS Sioux City is a remarkable ship which will bring tremendous capability to the fleet. I am excited to join with her crew and celebrate her upcoming commissioning at the home of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
“Today also marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Wichita, an exceptional ship which will conduct operations around the globe,” he said. “I look forward to seeing Wichita join her sister ships this winter.”
Capt. Shawn Johnston, commander, LCS Squadron Two, welcomed the ships to the fleet, saying, “The future USS Sioux City is a welcome addition to the East Coast Surface Warfare Division. Both her Blue and Gold crews are ready to put this ship though her paces and prepare the ship to deploy.
“The future USS Wichita is the first East Coast Mine Warfare Division ship,” he said. “She will have a chance to test some of the latest and greatest mine warfare systems after she completes her remaining combat systems trials.”
Several additional Freedom variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. The future USS Billings (LCS 15) is preparing for trials in spring 2019. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) was christened/launched in April. The future USS St. Louis (LCS 19) is scheduled for christening and launch in the fall. The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) is preparing for launch and christening in spring 2019, while the keel was laid for the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23) earlier this month and is undergoing construction in the shipyard’s erection bays. The future USS Marinette (LCS 25) started fabrication in February, while the future USS Nantucket (LCS 27) is scheduled to begin fabrication in the fall.
The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g., LCS 1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls). Twenty-nine LCSs have been awarded to date, with 15 delivered to the Navy, 11 in various stages of construction and three in preproduction states.