The US Navy has begun the construction of the fifth ship of the littoral combat ship class, USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) following completion of production readiness review.

The programme executive officer for LCS, Rear Admiral Jim Murdoch, said, “Starting construction on the fifth ship of the class is a major step in the life of this remarkable programme.

“Based on our success in constructing the previous four ships of the class, I am confident we will deliver this ship on schedule and on cost,” he added.

Expected to be delivered to the navy in 2014, the Milwaukee will join USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) and USS Coronado (LCS 4).

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The US Navy’s littoral combat ship (LCS) programme aims to build 55 LCSs, which are relatively small surface vessels used for operations in the littoral zone.