US Navy launches fifth littoral combat ship

18 December 2013 (Last Updated December 18th, 2013 18:30)

The US Navy has christened and successfully launched the fifth littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), during a ceremony held at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, US.

fifth littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Milwaukee (LCS 5)

The US Navy has christened and successfully launched the fifth littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), during a ceremony held at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, US.

The warship has been named Milwaukee to honour the largest city in the state of Wisconsin, the fifth to bear the name of the city.

Lockheed Martin's mission systems and training business executive vice-president Dale Bennett said: "As the service prepares to retire three ship classes in this strenuous budget environment, the Lockheed Martin-team's LCS is helping to fill those gaps affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions."

The LCS class includes two variants, the monohull design Freedom variant and the trimaran design Independence variant, which are developed by two industry teams, led by Austal USA and Lockheed Martin respectively.

"The Lockheed Martin-team's LCS is helping to fill those gaps affordably with one flexible, technologically advanced ship suited for multiple missions."

Prior to the delivery to the US Navy in 2015, USS Milwaukee, the third LCS constructed by the Lockheed Martin-led team, is scheduled to undergo outfitting and testing.

Capable of reconfiguring for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures, 388ft-long USS Milwaukee will be powered by four axial-flow waterjet engines to improve performance.

The LCS ships are fast, agile and focused-mission surface combatants designed to provide most capable, cost-effective solutions to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy for warfighters.

Featuring specialised mission packages to counter anti-access threats including mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft, the warships can operate in near-shore environments.


Image: US Navy's littoral combat ship pre-commissioning unit Milwaukee (LCS 5) during christening ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

Defence Technology