U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert met with industry team members July 24 for a tour of the Marinette Marine shipyard and status update on the Lockheed Martin-led Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.
During his visit to the northeastern Wisconsin shipyard, Adm. Greenert observed an important milestone. For the first time in the program’s history, four LCSs are under construction at the same time.
Adm. Greenert met with Joe North, vice president of littoral ship systems for Lockheed Martin, and Marinette Marine President and CEO Chuck Goddard during the visit. He also spoke with local media about the LCS program. He said he was impressed with how changes were rolled into construction so quickly, based on feedback the Navy provided to industry from its crews operating the ships.
“It was great to see and hear about the feedback mechanisms in place,” said Adm. Jonathan Greenert. “And how our Sailors and industry are partnering to incorporate lessons learned to improve follow on LCS platforms.”
Lockheed Martin and the Navy recently celebrated the keel laying of the future USS Little Rock (LCS 9) at the shipyard. Construction of Milwaukee (LCS 5), Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) is underway, and long-lead construction material is being procured for Wichita (LCS 13) and Billings (LCS 15).
The Navy’s first LCS, the USS Freedom, is in Singapore as part of a 10-month deployment to Southeast Asia. Freedom is proving the Navy’s operational concept, as shown by her successful participation in multi-national maritime exercises.
The Lockheed Martin-led team’s second ship, USS Fort Worth, is completing a scheduled maintenance period in its San Diego homeport after being delivered to the Navy two months early.