Construction has started on the US Navy’s third Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), USS Fort Worth.

The ship is being built by a Lockheed Martin-led industry team at Marinette Marine’s shipyard in Wisconsin, US.

Lockheed Martin’s Maritime Systems and Sensors Integrated Defense Technologies business vice-president and general manager Dan Schultz said the combat ship will be built using Marinette Marine’s modular production process that allows ship modules to be equipped up to 85% complete prior to launch.

The agile warship is designed to undergo missions in the world’s coastal waters and provide the navy with fast, manoeuvrable and shallow-draft ships.

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The ship is scheduled to be delivered in 2012.

The construction contract for the USS Fort Worth was awarded to Lockheed Martin in March 2009.