Full Speed Ahead for LCS 3
Lockheed Martin successfully completes Builder’s Trials for Fort Worth in Lake Michigan
It’s all ahead full for the nation’s third littoral combat ship (LCS), the Fort Worth.
Built by the Lockheed Martin industry team at the Marinette Marine Shipyard in Wisconsin, Fort Worth successfully completed Builder’s Sea Trials recently in Lake Michigan. The trials included operational testing of the vessel’s propulsion, communications, navigation, mission and support systems.
The rigorous trial period included maneuverability tests, high-speed runs, power and navigation system checks, rescue boat launch and recovery, as well as many other ship and system evaluations.
“Successful completion of Builder’s Sea Trials means that we are on track for the Navy’s Acceptance Trials later this fall, which is one step closer to getting the Navy the ships it needs,” said Joe North, Lockheed Martin vice president of littoral ship systems. “We continue supporting the Navy in growing their fleet affordably and effectively.”
LCS 3 remains on cost and on schedule. Following the trials, Fort Worth returned to the shipyard to prepare for Acceptance Trials, the last step before the U.S. Navy takes delivery of the ship next year. Construction began two years ago, with the keel-laying conducted on July 11, 2009.
The Lockheed Martin team built the nation’s first LCS, the USS Freedom, which is currently deployed with the fleet. Using lessons learned from its work on Freedom, the team constructed Fort Worth with 30 percent fewer production hours than LCS 1.
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.
“With each ship, the team continues to drive costs down as a result of efficiencies, investments, design stability and working with suppliers,” North said following the start of the Milwaukee. “We keep a steadfast focus on delivering this needed capability to the Navy.”
In addition to Marinette Marine, a Fincantieri company, the Lockheed Martin-led team includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as best-of-industry domestic and international companies.