The US Navy’s Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21), has been officially commissioned into the service.

A commissioning ceremony was held in Duluth, Minnesota, on 21 May.

It was attended by Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz, US Navy undersecretary Erik Raven, deputy chief naval operations for warfighting requirements and capabilities vice-admiral Scott Conn and other dignitaries and officials.

LCS 21 is the second naval ship to be named after the twin cities of Minnesota.

The first vessel to honour the twin cities was the US Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarine, which was launched in 1983. USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN 708) served for more than 20 years and was decommissioned in 2007.

Launched and christened on 15 June 2019, the ship was built by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine at Marinette, Wisconsin, US.

Last year in November, Minneapolis-Saint Paul was handed over to the US Navy.

Following the commissioning, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport in Florida, US.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul commanding officer commander Alfonza White said: “I am incredibly proud of this crew for their dedication to shipmate and ship as we worked toward the commissioning of USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

“We are honoured to carry the name Minneapolis-Saint Paul into the fleet.”

The US Navy’s Freedom-class LCS is a mission-focused platform, which can conduct missions in near-shore and open-ocean environments.

The ship can support various operations including maritime security, deterrence, sea control and forward presence.

The platforms can operate both independently as well as with a networked battle force of larger, multi-mission surface combatants in high-threat conditions.