Freedom Hums As Main Engines Complete Successful Testing
MARINETTE, WI, 04/30/2008 -- The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led LCS team recently completed another successful milestone in the production of the nation's first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) with the light off and testing of Freedom (LCS 1)'s main propulsion diesel engines.
The agile 378-foot Freedom is being built by the Lockheed Martin-led team to help the U.S. Navy defeat growing littoral – or close-to-shore – threats and provide access and dominance in coastal water battlespace. Once complete, Freedom will be a fast, maneuverable and networked surface combatant with operational flexibility to execute focused missions, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and humanitarian relief. LCS brings a unique combination of high speed, superb maneuverability and a shallow draft, brought together in a special hull form, to enable it to carry out these critical missions.
Recently, the sound of steadily humming engines could be heard aboard Freedom as the ship's two Fairbanks Morse diesel engines demonstrated excellent performance during testing. The team monitored the performance of the diesel engines, which can provide more than 17,000 brake horsepower (bhp) for the ship, at various speeds to ensure they met the Navy's performance requirements. The engines will help to economically power the ship at cruise speeds out to ranges exceeding 3,500 nautical miles.
Freedom's innovative propulsion system is a combined diesel and gas turbine plant which drives steerable water jets, allowing the ship to sustain sprint speeds over 40 knots. The two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines aboard Freedom are the largest gas turbines ever to be installed on a Navy ship. Two fixed and two steerable Rolls-Royce water jets – the first of their size to ever be installed on a Navy ship – will enable superior maneuverability for mission execution.
Testing and outfitting of Freedom continues dockside at Marinette Marine, in Marinette, WI in preparation for sea trials. Freedom will be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2008 and will be homeported in San Diego.
The Lockheed Martin team's design for LCS is a survivable, semi-planing steel monohull that provides outstanding maneuverability with proven sea-keeping characteristics to support launch and recovery operations, mission execution and optimum crew comfort. Team members also includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox, ship builders Marinette Marine, a subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. [NYSE: MTW], and Bollinger Shipyards, as well as best-of-industry domestic and international teammates to provide a flexible, low-risk war fighting solution.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.