SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 — The U.S. Navy commissioned its third Littoral Combat Ship – USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) – in Galveston, Texas Saturday officially placing the ship into active service.
Fort Worth is the second of the Freedom-variant LCSs, designed and constructed by a Lockheed Martin-led team [NYSE: LMT] and built at Fincantieri Marine Group's Marinette Marine shipyard. The ship successfully passed Acceptance Trials in May and was delivered to the U.S. Navy in June, two months ahead of schedule.
"Today's global security challenges demand new and improved solutions, and the Littoral Combat Ship represents the innovation that is needed to respond to this dynamic environment," said Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO. "We are incredibly proud of the men and women on our team who helped design and build Fort Worth and honored to serve those that will rely on this ship to support U.S. security goals."
Now formally commissioned, Fort Worth will transit to its homeport in San Diego, Calif., where it will be integrated into the fleet and the industry-Navy team will conduct additional program testing and crew training.
Four more Freedom-class LCSs are in the pipeline: Milwaukee (LCS 5) and Detroit (LCS 7) are under construction at Marinette Marine. Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) were awarded in March 2012 and are in the early stages of procuring long-lead materials.
Designed to operate in combat zones close to the shore (littoral waters), each Freedom Class LCS will be equipped with two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines powering four large waterjets, enabling the vessels to reach speeds in excess of 40 knots.
The waterjets, which are among the largest produced by Rolls-Royce, pump water at a combined rate of 25,000 gallons per second — enough to fill an Olympic style swimming pool in 25 seconds.
The MT30 is derived from Rolls-Royce aero engine technology and has the highest power density of any marine gas turbine — a key factor in naval propulsion where delivering a high power output in a compact space is essential.
The MT30 has also been selected for the U.S. Navy's DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer program as well as the U.K. Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and the Republic of Korea Navy's FFXII frigates.
Tony Wood, Rolls-Royce, President – Marine, said: "Rolls-Royce offers our sincere congratulations to the U.S. Navy and the Lockheed Martin-led team on what is such a special day for all involved in the LCS program.
"We are extremely proud to have worked alongside the Navy and Lockheed Martin on the development, sea trials and entry into service of USS Fort Worth and wish Commander Randy Blankenship and his crew our very best wishes on all future missions with this highly advanced ship."