Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine have marked the start of construction on Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 27, the future USS Nantucket. In a ceremony at the shipyard, a worker welded the initials of the ship’s sponsor, Polly Spencer, wife of U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, into the ship’s keel plate.
“The USS Nantucket will confront many complex challenges,” said Secretary Spencer. “It will confront humanitarian relief all the way to great power competition.”
The focused-mission LCS is designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions today and is adaptable to serve future and evolving missions tomorrow.
The Freedom-variant LCS is is standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute. Forty percent of the hull is reconfigurable, able to integrate Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30 mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles designed to meet today’s and tomorrow’s missions.
LCS 27 is the first Navy ship to be named after Nantucket, Massachusetts, in more than 150 years. The previous USS Nantucket, the first to be named after the island, was commissioned in 1862 to serve during the American Civil War.
“I have been given a very special honor in being the sponsor of the future USS Nantucket. I am happy she is being built here in Marinette, Wisconsin, which has an impressive history of shipbuilding,” said Polly Spencer, LCS 27 sponsor. “Thank you to all the talented people who are bringing this ship to life… it is going to be an amazing journey that I am thrilled to be on.”
LCS 27 will be the 14th Freedom-variant LCS and will join a class of more than 30 ships. It is one of six ships in various stages of construction and test at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard.
“We are very excited to begin construction of the future USS Nantucket,” said Jan Allman, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. “Our men and women are proud to put their efforts into giving the Navy versatile ships to keep our country and its interests safe.”