June 3, 2005
Keel laid for LCS 1
The keel for FREEDOM (LCS 1), the U.S. Navy's first Littoral Combat Ship, was laid yesterday at the Manitowoc Company's (NYSE: MTW) Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.
With the help of veteran Marinette Marine welder Jim Renner, Birgit Smith, FREEDOM's sponsor, and Adm. Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations,signed a plaque that will be welded to FREEDOM's hull, authenticating that FREEDOM's keel is "truly and fairly laid."
Smith is the widow of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in Iraq.
"We are honored to be part of one of the Navy's oldest traditions and one of its newest classes," said Manitowoc Chairman and CEO Terry D. Growcock. "The LCS class represents a new breed of warship and a new approach to naval shipbuilding. Manitowoc, and our LCS partners, welcome the challenge of providing the technology, speed, and value that the Navy demands. Manitowoc delivered ships to the U.S. Navy during both world wars, and we are proud to continue that tradition with the LCS."
FREEDOM will be 377 feet long with a beam of over 42 feet and a top speed of over 50 knots, depending on load. It is being built under a $423 million contract awarded a Lockheed Martin-led teamfor design and construction of up to two Flight 0, or initial production ships. In addition to Marinette Marine, other team members include naval architect Gibbs & Cox and Bollinger Shipyards.U.S. maritime industry.