NOVEMBER 8, 2012 — The Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-led industry team has laid the keel for the U.S. Navy's seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Detroit, in a ceremony at Fincantieri's Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard in Wisconsin.
Pictured from left to right: U.S. Navy Commander Nate Schneider, LCS Program Manager's Representative, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Bath, Detachment Marinette; Joe North, Lockheed Martin Vice President of Littoral Ship Systems; Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Mrs. Barbara Levin, ship sponsor; Chuck Goddard, President & CEO Marinette Marine Corporation, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral James Murdoch, Program Executive Officer, Littoral Combat Ships; Monsignor James Dillenburg, Keel Laying Chaplain.
The Lockheed Martin LCS team is building the Freedom-variant LCS for the U.S. naval fleet. The first two Freedom variants have been delivered, two additional ships are in production and two more are in early material procurement.
"It's an honor to participate in this event for the future USS Detroit," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. "The keel laying ceremony marks a great milestone for the program and the naval fleet. These ships are vital to our national defense strategy and their production contributes significantly to the Wisconsin and Michigan economies."
During the ceremony ship sponsor Barbara Levin authenticated the keel by having her initials welded into a sheet of the ship's steel. She was assisted by the Navy's Program Executive Officer – Littoral Combat Ships Rear Admiral James Murdoch.
"This ceremony marks the beginning of my commitment to supporting the future USS Detroit and the brave crews that will serve aboard her to defend our country," said Barbara Levin. "It is a very moving moment for me, as I am very proud to serve as the sponsor of this powerful ship which honors my native city."
The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes shipbuilder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as hundreds of domestic and international suppliers, including approximately 30 small businesses in Wisconsin and Michigan.
"Marinette Marine Corporation's shipbuilding expertise, coupled with Lockheed Martin's integrated and automated systems that bring the capability to fight, operate and support the ship, make the Freedom-variant LCS a powerful vessel," said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems for Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Sensors business. "The LCS team continues to invest in shipyard improvements and has applied best practices to ensure we continue to be more efficient and more innovative with each new ship we build."
By 2013, industry investment will total approximately $94 million, which includes nearly $70 million to date from Marinette Marine Corporation's parent Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani for shipyard improvements.