July 29, 2008
LCS 1 starts builder's trials
The future USS Freedom (LCS 1), the first ship in the Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class, has started Builder's Trials in Lake Michigan.
The trials-- which are a coordinated effort between the U.S. Navy and the Lockheed Martin team-- will include operational testing of the vessel's propulsion, communications, navigation and mission systems, as well as all related support systems.
The 378-foot future USS Freedom is being designed and built by a Lockheed Martin-led industry team at Marinette Marine.
Following the completion of Builder's Trials, Freedom will return to Marinette Marine to prepare for Acceptance Trials that will be conducted by the U.S. Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.
LCS 1 is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy later this year and will be homeported in San Diego, Calif.
The Navy has ordered two LCS variants --a semiplaning monohull and an aluminum trimaran-- designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, or Mission Packages, that can be changed out quickly. These mission packages focus on three mission areas: mine counter measures (MCM), surface warfare (SUW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
"Our team is looking forward to this trials period to demonstrate all the capabilities our unique design for LCS will bring to the Navy," said Joe North, director for Lockheed Martin's Littoral Combat Ship program. "We're pleased to be closing in on delivering this advanced warship to the sailors who protect our nation all over the world."
The Lockheed Martin team's design for LCS is described as a survivable, semi-planing steel monohull designed to provides outstanding maneuverability with proven sea-keeping characteristics to support launch and recovery operations, mission execution and optimum crew comfort. Team members also include naval architect Gibbs & Cox, ship builders Marinette Marine, a subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. [NYSE: MTW], and Bollinger Shipyards, as well as best-of-industry domestic and international teammates to provide a flexible, low-risk war fighting solution.