The US Navy is set to christen its newest littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21).

The christening is scheduled to take place during a ceremony on 15 June in Marinette, Wisconsin.

The Freedom-variant LCS vessel is sponsored by US Navy Deputy Under Secretary Jodi Greene, who will christen the ship.

US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said: “The christening of the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul marks an important step toward this great ship’s entry into the fleet.

“The dedication and skilled work of our industry partners have ensured this ship will represent the great city of Minneapolis Saint Paul and serve of our Navy and Marine Corps team for decades to come.”

To be homeported in Mayport, Florida, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul will be the second naval vessel to be named after Minnesota’s Twin Cities and the 11th Freedom-class ship.

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LCS 21 can be deployed for operation in littoral environments and open-ocean operation. The keel laying for the ship was performed in February last year.

The vessel has the ability to defeat asymmetric ‘anti-access’ threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface craft.

It is scheduled for commissioning in the first half of next year.

Lockheed Martin said in a statement: “The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship is a resilient flexible warship, designed from the keel up to affordably take on new capabilities, from the most advanced sensors, to the latest missiles, to cutting-edge cyber systems.”

The LCS was built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin and offers speed, strength and versatility that prove vital during missions.

Measuring 118m in length and with the ability to accommodate a core crew of 50, the Freedom-class ship can achieve a top speed of more than 45k.

The Freedom-variant LCSs are constructed at Fincantieri Marinette Marine north of Green Bay, Wisconsin.