March 15, 2010
Marinette Marine breaks ground for indoor shipbuilding expansion
Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin, recently broke ground for an expansion to nearly double the size of its main indoor ship construction building. The shipbuilder is a member of the Lockheed Martin-led Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) industry team and the expansion will provide enough indoor space to simultaneously house two complete LCS hulls and parts for two additional ships. It will also allows greater use of modular construction processes, which will enable the Lockheed Martin team to construct LCS more cost effectively.
The expansion is part of parent company Fincantieri's five-year, $100 million plan to modernize its U.S. shipbuilding operations and support the LCS program. In 2009, Marinette Marine installed higher-capacity overhead cranes, plasma-cutting tables and pipe-bending machines to increase efficiency and capacit
"This groundbreaking represents a significant milestone in the transformation of Marinette Marine to the premier mid-tier shipyard in the United States," said Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri's chief executive officer. "The building expansion will allow us to fully complete a large ship such as LCS completely indoors at an even higher degree of completion and quality."
In 2008, Lockheed Martin also became a minority partner in the shipyard, while continuing to share its project management and lean manufacturing techniques to meet the LCS program's cost and schedule goals.
Marinette Marine constructed and launched the nation's first LCS, USS Freedom. Commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 2008, USS Freedom was deployed two years ahead of schedule and recently completed three successful drug interdictions.
The shipyard is now constructing the Navy's third LCS, Fort Worth (LCS 3).
"Fort Worth is on cost and on schedule, with 90 percent of its modules under construction and more than 30 percent of the ship complete," said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Ship and Aviation Systems business. "The improvements underway at Marinette Marine increase the team's capacity in meeting the U.S. Navy's need for an affordable, survivable LCS. We've already seen a 30 percent reduction in labor cost from our first ship."