LCS 3 Readies for Sea Trials

Work 93 percent complete on the future USS Fort Worth; Freedom gears up for final contractor trials

 

file USS Freedom, the nation’s first littoral combat ship, has completed preparations for upcoming final contractor trials that include testing of the surface warfare mission package and the deck landing qualifications of the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

The Lockheed Martin-led team at Marinette Marine’s Wisconsin shipyard is progressing steadily on production of the future USS Fort Worth, the nation’s third littoral combat ship.

LCS 3 is slated for builder's trials this fall, with delivery to the Navy in 2012. The ship, which is the second-produced Freedom variant of the LCS program, was christened in December 2010. Now more than 93 percent complete, it remains on cost and on schedule.

“With each ship, the team continues to drive costs down as a result of efficiencies, investments, design stability and working with suppliers,” said Joe North, vice president of littoral ship systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “We keep a steadfast focus on delivering this needed capability to the Navy.”

On LCS 3, the team completed light-off of the ship’s diesel generators this May and light-off of the main engines and rolling the propulsion shafts this month. LCS 3 is being constructed with 30 percent fewer production hours as a result of lessons learned from designing and building USS Freedom.

USS Freedom, the nation’s first littoral combat ship, has completed preparations for upcoming final contractor trials. Trials include testing of the surface warfare mission package and the deck landing qualifications of the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter to ensure safe and reliable interoperability between the aircraft and ship.  Since its commissioning in 2008, the ship has sailed 55,000 nautical miles.

In addition to Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, the Lockheed Martin-led team for LCS 3 includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox as well as best-of-industry domestic and international companies.