ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy will christen its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony on Feb. 29 in Marinette, Wisconsin, the Pentagon said in a release.
Alba Tull will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow. Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board of directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, will deliver the ceremony’s keynote address.
“The christening of the future USS Cooperstown marks an important step toward this great ship’s entry into the fleet,” acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said. “The dedication and skilled work of everyone involved in the building of this ship has ensured that it will represent the great city of Cooperstown and serve our Navy and Marine Corps team for decades to come.”
LCS 23 is the 12th Freedom-variant LCS, the 23rd in the class. The Cooperstown is the first ship named in honor of the city. LCS 23 received its name on July 25, 2015, during a ceremony at the Hall of Fame and it honors the veterans who are members of the Hall of Fame. These 64 men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War through the Korean War.
LCS is a modular and reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides the U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).