The US Navy has taken delivery of the 11th Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21).

Delivery of the LCS was accepted at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette on 18 November and marks the official transfer of the ship.

The LCS has been built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

LCS programme manager captain Mike Taylor said: “Today marks a significant shipbuilding milestone in the life of the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, an exceptional ship which will conduct operations around the globe.

“I look forward to seeing Minneapolis-Saint Paul join her sister ships with 100% of propulsion power available for unrestricted use.”

The handover follows thorough testing of the vessel’s gear fix, which was delivered to enable unrestricted operations.

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It is the first LCS in the Freedom-class to receive the modification.

The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the second naval vessel to be named after Minnesota’s Twin Cities and the first Freedom-variant ship to receive the combining gear upgrade.

LCS 21 can be deployed for operation in littoral environments and open-ocean operation.

The keel laying for the ship was performed in February 2018.

Cooperstown (LCS 23) is expected to be delivered in January next year following successful at-sea testing of its combining gear upgrade.

Marinette (LCS 25), Nantucket (LCS 27), Beloit (LCS 29) and Cleveland (LCS 31) are the other ships currently in various construction stages.