The Lockheed Martin-led industry team launched the 13th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on September 17. Ship sponsor, Kate Lehrer, christened LCS-13, the future USS Wichita, in U.S. Navy tradition by breaking a champagne bottle across the ship’s bow just prior to the launch.
«It is an honor and privilege to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Wichita and to be a part of this major milestone in the ship’s journey towards joining the great U.S. Navy fleet», Lehrer said. «I look forward and to an ongoing relationship with Wichita’s future crews and their families throughout the ship’s service».
USS Wichita (LCS-13) will undergo additional outfitting and testing at Fincantieri Marinette Marine before the ship’s anticipated delivery next year.
«The christening and launch of LCS-13 marks an important step in her journey towards joining the fleet», said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems. «The Freedom-variant LCS plays a critical role in the U.S. Navy’s maritime security strategy, and we are committed to getting LCS-13 and her highly capable sister ships into combatant commanders’ hands as quickly as possible».
The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant, with six ships under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine and three more in long-lead material procurement. The ship’s design and open architecture allows the U.S. Navy to rapidly acquire and deploy a fleet of highly flexible and capable ships at a fraction of the cost of other platforms.
«Fincantieri Marinette Marine is proud to christen and launch another Freedom-variant warship that will enable our Navy to carry out its missions where and when needed», said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO. «We continue to optimize our production processes and leverage the craftsmanship and skills of our employees to produce these high quality vessels for our sailors».
USS Wichita (LCS-13) will be the third U.S. Navy ship named USS Wichita. Previous ships to bear the name included a World War II heavy cruiser (CA-45) and a Wichita-class Replenishment Oiler (AOR-1).
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 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-variant Frigate.
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|
|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||San Diego, California|
|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||09-17-2016|
|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)|
Future USS Wichita (LCS-13) Launches Sideways Into River