Laying the Keel

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s 17th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Indianapolis, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-17, the future USS Indianapolis, by welding the initials of ship sponsor Jill Donnelly. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship’s module construction process
A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-17, the future USS Indianapolis, by welding the initials of ship sponsor Jill Donnelly. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship’s module construction process

Ship sponsor Mrs. Jill Donnelly, the wife of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship.

«It is a tremendous honor to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Indianapolis», Donnelly said. «The keel-laying ceremony is a great milestone, and I look forward to supporting the ship and its crew throughout the building process. I know the people of Indianapolis and all Hoosiers will proudly support her when she is commissioned and enters the Navy fleet».

The LCS’s modular design and affordable price achieves increased capacity and capability so the U.S. Navy can provide presence where and when needed, with a level of force that will deter and defeat threats.

«We are proud to build another proven warship that allows our Navy to carry out their missions around the world», said Joe North, vice president and general manager of Littoral Ships and Systems. «We look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to continue building and delivering highly capable and adaptable Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships to the fleet».

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered three ships to the U.S. Navy to date. The future USS Indianapolis is one of seven ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with three more in long-lead production.

«On behalf of Marinette Marine, we are incredibly proud to build these ships for the U.S. Navy», said Jan Allman, MMC president and CEO. «We continue to streamline our processes and leverage the craftsmanship and skills of our employees in producing these high quality vessels for our warfighters».

LCS-17 will be the fourth ship to bear the name USS Indianapolis. A previous Indianapolis (CA-35) is best known for its role in World War II, where it operated throughout the Pacific escorting convoys and attacking enemy submarines. Indianapolis’ service ended when it was sunk by a Japanese torpedo on July 30, 1945. Only 317 of the 1,196 sailors serving aboard the ship survived after five days afloat in the Pacific Ocean. Richard Thelen, a USS Indianapolis (CA-35) survivor, attended the keel laying ceremony as a representative of all who sailed on CA-35.

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 500 suppliers in 37 states. The Freedom-variant’s steel monohull design is based on a proven, survivable design recognized for its stability and reliability. With 40 percent reconfigurable shipboard space, the hull is ideally suited to accommodate additional lethality and survivability upgrades associated with the Freedom-class Frigate.

Infographic: Laying the Keel
Infographic: Laying the Keel

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System
The USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) departs Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard for the last time as LCS crew 104 guides her to Lake Michigan
The USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) departs Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard for the last time as LCS crew 104 guides her to Lake Michigan

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016
USS St. Louis (LCS-19)
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)
Slicing its way through the choppy waters of Lake Michigan, the future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) passed its final test, earning high marks and a thumbs-up from the U.S. Navy after successfully completing its acceptance trial September 18
Slicing its way through the choppy waters of Lake Michigan, the future USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) passed its final test, earning high marks and a thumbs-up from the U.S. Navy after successfully completing its acceptance trial September 18

 

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