MARINETTE, Wis. (WFRV) – The Lockheed Martin-led team began construction on the U.S. Navy warship, named for Beloit Wisconsin, after a Keel Laying ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard.
The Lockheed Martin Corporation said the ceremony at Fincantieri Marinette Marine marked the beginning of construction on Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Beloit, which is joining a class of more than 30 ships
As part of a shipbuilding tradition, officials say a shipyard worker welded into the ship’s keel plate the initials of Beloit, Wisconsin native, Major General Marcia M. Anderson, who happens to also be a retired member of the U.S. Army and USS Beloit ship sponsor.
Lockheed Martin officials say this plate will remain on the ship throughout its commissioned life. Major General Anderson shared, “When completed, the USS Beloit’s voyages will be part of the tradition of small cities and towns in America sharing our story around the world.”
The ship is said to deliver advanced capability in anti-submarine, surface, and mine countermeasure missions, and was designed to evolve with the changing security environment.
Vice President and General Manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems Joe DePietro said, “LCS’ speed, maneuverability and flexibility allows the ship to serve a multitude of missions by quickly integrating equipment and deploying manned and unmanned aerial, surface or sub-surface vehicles.”
Officials explain that targeted upgrades are already underway with naval strike missiles being installed in support of upcoming deployments to reduce threats of near-peer competition from large nation-states.
“We are proud to celebrate the future USS Beloit today,” said Jan Allman, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. “The Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard is honored to build this capable warship, named for another city from the wonderful state of Wisconsin. I think this is a true testament to the hard work and patriotism of Midwesterners, and we look forward to working with the City of Beloit as we continue building LCS 29 for our US Navy partner.”