The U.S. Navy christened its newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, June 15, in Marinette, Wisconsin.
U.S. Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address. Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy Jodi Greene served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Ms. Greene christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
«The christening of the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul marks an important step toward this great ship’s entry into the fleet», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «The dedication and skilled work of our industry partners have ensured this ship will represent the great city of Minneapolis-Saint Paul and serve our Navy and Marine Corps team for decades to come».
The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The ship will be homeported in Mayport, Florida.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
LCS-21 is the 11th Freedom-variant LCS, the 21st in the class. She is the second ship named in honor of Minnesota’s twin cities. The first was a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine that served from 1984 to 2008. Two U.S. Navy ships have been named for Minneapolis and two for St. Paul.
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||10-22-2016||San Diego, California|
|USS Little Rock (LCS-9)||06-27-2013||07-18-2015||12-16-2017||San Diego, California|
|USS Sioux City (LCS-11)||02-19-2014||01-30-2016||11-17-2018||Mayport, Florida|
|USS Wichita (LCS-13)||02-09-2015||09-17-2016||01-12-2019||Mayport, Florida|
|USS Billings (LCS-15)||11-02-2015||07-01-2017||Mayport, Florida|
|USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)||07-18-2016||04-18-2018|
|USS St. Louis (LCS-19)||05-17-2017||12-15-2018|
|USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)||02-22-2018||Mayport, Florida|
|USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)||08-14-2018|
|USS Marinette LCS-25||03-27-2019|
|USS Nantucket (LCS-27)|
|USS Beloit (LCS-29)|
|USS Cleveland (LCS-31)|