The US Navy has ceremonially christened its 15th Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Beloit (LCS 29), at Marinette, Wisconsin.

The ceremony was attended by the ship’s sponsor retired US Army Major general Marcia Anderson, Senator Tammy Baldwin, US Naval Inspector General vice-admiral John Fuller and other officials.

US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said: “The future USS Beloit will be the first US Navy ship honouring the proud naval contributions of Beloit, Wisconsin.

“I have no doubt the sailors of USS Beloit (LCS 29) will stand the watch with pride and be ready to respond to any mission, wherever, and whenever, there is a need.”

The vessel is being constructed by Lockheed Martin-led consortium at Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) Wisconsin.

In July last year, the team started the construction of the vessel.

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The littoral combat ship is designed to operate in near-shore environments to counter coastal threats.

A fast, agile, mission-focused vessel, the LCS can support several missions including deterrence, sea control, mine countermeasure, maritime security and forward presence.

The ship can operate in independent or high-threat conditions as part of a networked battle force, including multi-mission surface combatants.

Apart from LCS 29, the consortium is building five more LCS that are currently under different construction stages.

The vessels include USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21), Marinette (LCS 25), Cooperstown (LCS 23), Nantucket (LCS 27) and Cleveland (LCS 31).