LCS ‘Critical’ to 313-Ship Navy
CNO Roughead says ‘we need LCS’ during visit to see LCS 3 being built by Lockheed Martin-led team
U.S. Navy officials repeatedly say the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is essential to achieving their desired 313-ship fleet. After touring LCS 3 – the future USS Fort Worth being built by a Lockheed Martin-led team at the Marinette Marine Shipyard in Wisconsin – Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead remains confident LCS will deliver.
"One of the things that is important to me is that we maintain the capability that the nation needs in its navy," Roughead said in a Sept. 1 Marinette Eagle Herald article. "The LCS is critical to that capability. We also need the capacity and the numbers that we're building in LCS. That's the driver that gets us the floor of at least 313 ships that we're going to need to meet all of the requirements that we have."
The Navy plans to build 55 LCS. The Lockheed Martin team built the first LCS, the already deployed USS Freedom. Construction of the Fort Worth – the team’s second ship – remains on cost and on schedule and is scheduled for builder's trials this fall.
Last December, the Navy awarded the Lockheed Martin team a contract to build up to 10 LCS. Construction on the first of those ships, the future USS Milwaukee, began in August. If the Navy exercises all the options, the contract’s total value will reach about $3.6 billion.
"We need LCS," Roughead said in the Eagle Herald article. "We need them on time, on cost. We need to get them out and to the regions that are important to us to be able to operate, and we're going to continue to find ourselves out there in the future. LCS is perfect for the environment that we'll see in the coming decades."
As the government addresses the country’s deficit, the Lockheed Martin team, which also includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox, understands the financial pressures the Navy faces.
"We have successfully worked out way down the learning curve on the Freedom variant, allowing us to establish and meet cost and schedule goals as demonstrated on LCS 3," said Joe North, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for littoral ship systems. “We expect to continue to improve on our performance with LCS 5 and beyond."
Learn more about the CNO’s visit to Marinette