MARINETTE, Wisc., US – The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship 31, the future USS Cleveland. Ship sponsor, Robyn Modly christened Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 31, prior to its launch into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) Shipyard on April 15, 2023.
“Lockheed Martin is proud to celebrate this significant milestone for Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 31, the future Cleveland and final Freedom-variant ship. The LCS Freedom-variant remains the most adaptable warship in the Navy’s fleet, designed to stay ahead of our nation’s adversaries and fulfill the dynamic missions of the US Navy. Our team maintains a strong partnership with the US Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to the highly capable and flexible LCS class, ensuring Navy sailors stay ahead of ready for any mission, anywhere,” Steve Allen, Lockheed Martin Vice President, Small Combatants and Ship Systems said in an April 17 release.
“I am honoured and thrilled to be a part of the christening and launch of the USS Cleveland. I am proud of the tremendous role that Cleveland has played in our nation’s security. I know the USS Cleveland will carry that tradition forward as she and her crew enter the fleet, providing capability and deterrence around the world. It’s a privilege to play a small role as the Sponsor during the life of this great ship,” Mrs Robyn Modly, Ship Sponsor of the future USS Cleveland (LCS 31) said.
Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the US Navy’s fleet.
- It is flexible — with 40% of the hull easily reconfigurable, LCS can be modified to integrate capabilities including over-the-horizon missiles, advanced electronic warfare systems (SEWIP) and decoys (Nulka), and in future, vertical launching systems or laser weapon systems.
- It is fast — capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.
- It is automated — with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
- It is lethal — standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered 13 ships to the US Navy. There are three ships in various stages of production. –lm/adj/mhi (Pix: Lockheed Martin)