The US Navy has commissioned its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Indianapolis (LCS 17).

The commissioning ceremony took place on 26 October in Burns Harbor, Indiana.

LCS 17 is named after Indianapolis, Indiana’s state capital and largest city.

The future USS Indianapolis, which is sponsored by former Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly’s wife Jill Donnelly, is the ninth Freedom-variant LCS and the fourth ship to bear the name.

US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said: “This Freedom-variant littoral combat ship will continue the proud legacy created by ships previously bearing the name Indianapolis.

“The crew will carry on the tradition of service to confront the many challenges of today’s complex world. To the men and women who will ring in the first watch, you carry with you the fighting spirit of incredible bravery and sense of duty that is inherently recognised with the name Indianapolis.”

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In June this year, the future USS Indianapolis completed acceptance trials in Lake Michigan.

The Freedom-variant LCS is a fast, agile, platform that can operate in both near-shore environments and open-ocean operation.

The ship is built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin and is capable of defeating asymmetric threats such as quiet diesel submarines, mines and fast surface craft.

The US Navy’s LCS-class vessels are designed to support surface and anti-submarine warfare, as well as mine countermeasure missions in the littoral region.

Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems vice-president Joe DePietro said: “Indianapolis’ speed, flexibility and lethality bring a unique set of capabilities to the fleet.

“She is equipped and ready for today’s threats and can easily integrate new capabilities for tomorrow’s threats. Our team is confident Indianapolis will be what the navy needs when the fleet needs it.”