MARINETTE, Wis. - Workers at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, Wis. authenticated the keel for LCS 5, the future USS Milwaukee, during a ceremony Oct. 27, recognizing the beginning of the ship's construction.
"Starting construction on the fifth ship of the class is a significant step in the life of the program," said Rear Adm. Jim Murdoch, program executive officer for Littoral Combat Ships. "We've learned a number of key lessons from the construction of LCS 1 and 3 which will improve production of these vital fleet assets. We're committed to controlling shipbuilding costs and delivering these ships on time and within budget."
LCS is a new breed of U.S. Navy warship, capable of open-ocean operation but optimized for littoral, or coastal, missions. The Navy remains committed to a 55 ship LCS program and is leveraging competition, fixed-price contracting and serial production to reduce construction duration and costs.
Milwaukee is expected to deliver to the fleet in 2014. The ship will join USS Freedom (LCS 1), commissioned in 2008; USS Independence (LCS 2), commissioned in 2009, and the future USS Fort Worth and USS Coronado, both under construction.
The ship, named in honor of the Wisconsin city, will be 417 feet in length and capable of reaching speeds in excess of 40 knots.
PEO LCS, an affiliated Program Executive Office of Naval Sea Systems Command, provides a single Program Executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, beginning with procurement, and ending with fleet employment and sustainment. The combined capability of LCS and LCS mission systems is designed to dominate the littoral battle space and provide U.S. forces with assured access to coastal areas.