The US Navy’s newest Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Sioux City (LCS 11), has been introduced to active service during a commissioning ceremony at the US Naval Academy.
The commissioning was carried out by ship sponsor, Mary Winnefeld, who is the wife of former joint chiefs of staff vice-chairman, the retired admiral James Winnefeld.
Being the first vessel to be named after the fourth-largest city in Iowa, the USS Sioux City has been designed and developed by Lockheed Martin-led team to carry out close-to-shore missions.
The team responsible for developing the Freedom-variant LCS includes Marinette Marine shipyard, Bollinger Shipyards, Gibbs and Cox naval architects, Izar of Spain and Blohm & Voss naval shipbuilders.
Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems vice-president Joe DePietro said: “We are confident that LCS 11 will be what the navy needs, when the fleet needs it.
“We remain focused on delivering these ships as quickly as possible with increasing capability and lethality. These ships will have a long lifespan, and we’re working with the Navy to make LCS even stronger and more resilient.”
Capable of sailing at speeds more than 40k, the surface combatant is automated with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
The rolling airframe missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun system, which is capable of firing 220 rounds every minute, add to the vessel’s firepower.
In addition, the US Navy ship is flexible with 40% of the hull easily reconfigurable, and is integrated with a range of capabilities such as the Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles.
Built to support surface warfare, LCS 11 is installed with advanced technology and capability to support both current and future missions from deepwater to the littorals.
US Navy Naval Operations chief admiral John Richardson said: “We’ve made these ships more lethal and survivable, steadily improving them.
“We’re investing in over the horizon missile capabilities, outfitting them with advanced sensors, placing a combination of manned and unmanned vehicles on-board to support a wide range of missions well into our future.”