Lockheed Martin team delivers first littoral combat ship to U.S. Navy

Published 19 September 2008

Dealing with terrorist threats from the sea, and with other threats in the shallows, the Navy requires a different type of equipment, the and the littoral combat ship is part of the answer

The Lockheed Martin Corporation-led industry team delivered the U.S. first Littoral Combat Ship, Freedom (LCS 1), to the U.S. Navy. The delivery marks the navy’s preliminary acceptance of LCS 1, clearing the way for the ship’s crew to prepare her for commissioning and service. “This is a truly exciting day for the Navy. Today marks a critical milestone in fulfilling the need and realizing the vision we began just a few years ago,” Capt. James Murdoch, the LCS program manager said. “Despite our challenges, the Navy and industry have continued to press on to build and deliver the first ship of a unique class, a ship class that will give our Nation our own asymmetric advantages against future maritime threats.”

I am extremely proud of all the men and women of Lockheed Martin, Marinette Marine, Gibbs & Cox and Bollinger whose hard work has successfully delivered Freedom to the fleet,” said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Maritime Security & Ship Systems business. “Our team is prepared to build more of these agile warships to give the Navy unsurpassed capabilities and dominance in the littorals.”

The 378-foot Freedom — a survivable, semi-planing steel monohull — will help the navy address growing threats and provide access and dominance in the littoral battle space. Reaching speeds over 40 knots and displacing 3,000 metric tons, Freedom is a fast, maneuverable, and networked surface combatant with operational flexibility to execute focused missions, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and the potential for a range of additional missions including maritime interdiction and humanitarian/disaster relief.

In 2004 the navy awarded a contract to the Lockheed Martin team to develop the first LCS. Construction began in February 2005 and Freedom was christened and launched in September 2006. The company says that this represents less than half the time typically required to design, build, launch, and deliver a first-in-class combatant. Freedom successfully completed sea trials in August 2008 and will be commissioned on November 8, 2008 in Milwaukee, WI and eventually home ported in San Diego.