MARINETTE, Wis. (WFRV) — Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine marked the beginning of construction on Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 27 Wednesday with a ceremony in Marinette.
The ship, the future USS Nantucket, is designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions.
As part of a ship-building tradition dating back centuries, a shipyard worker welded the initials of Polly Spencer, USS Nantucket ship sponsor and wife of U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, into the ship’s keel plate.
“The USS Nantucket will confront many complex challenges,” said Richard Spencer. “It will confront humanitarian relief all the way to great power competition, drawing on the strength of every weld, every rivet applied by the great people here.”
Lockheed Martin says 40% of the hull of the LCS is easily reconfigurable, able to integrate Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30 mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles designed to meet today’s and tomorrow’s missions.
The ship is equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles and a Mark 110 gun capable of firing 220 rounds per minute. It can reach speeds in excess of 40 knots.
“LCS’ built-in flexibility makes it unlike any other Navy ship in the water today,” says Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems.
LCS 27 is the first Navy ship to be named after Nantucket, Massachusetts in more than 150 years. The previous USS Nantucket, the first to be named after the island, was commissioned in 1862 to serve during the American Civil War.
This USS Nantucket will be the 14th Freedom-variant LCS and will join a class of more than 30 ships. It is one of six ships in various stages of construction and test at the Fincantieri shipyard.