Lockheed Martin and Marinette Marine Corporation Host U.S. Senator for Littoral Combat Ship Production Tour

During her August 19 visit to Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC), Sen. Tammy Baldwin toured the littoral combat ship production site and met with industry leaders, Lockheed Martin Vice President of Littoral Ship Systems Joe North, and Marinette Marine President and CEO Jan Allman. Led by prime contractor Lockheed Martin, the Freedom-class littoral combat ships provide advanced capabilities to the U.S. Navy. There are currently five ships under construction. Pictured L-R: Marinette Marine Corporation President and CEO Jan Allman; Sen. Tammy Baldwin; Lockheed Martin Vice President of Littoral Ship Systems Joe North. Photo courtesy Marinette Marine Corporation.

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), a staunch supporter of the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), visited the Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) shipyard to meet with industry leadership and reporters to discuss the importance of the program to the local economy and national security.

“I will continue to fight for the LCS program because it employs thousands of hardworking Wisconsinites and helps meet our national security needs,” said Senator Baldwin. Continue reading

Future USS Milwaukee Crew Completes Familiarization Period of Training

 

While the nation’s fifth littoral combat ship (LCS), PCU Milwaukee, awaits upcoming trials in Marinette, Wisconsin, the pre-commissioning Crew 111 kicked off Crew Familiarization Training in San Diego, California, at the LCS Shore Based Training Facility. This phase of the training pipeline teaches the distinct skills required for LCS, including a comprehensive overview of the entire ship and its major systems. Crew 111 has already completed its first phase of training, during which sailors honed the required skills for systems and duties common between LCS and other ships within the fleet.

At the training facility, cutting edge simulation capabilities are combined with shipboard tactical software, bringing a level of fidelity that allows the crewmembers to complete many training certifications before actually spending time onboard a sea frame.

“As the Navy begins training for Milwaukee and follow-on ships, we have implemented best practices and lessons learned from the first two Freedom-class littoral combat ships across our training curriculum,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training. “These improvements enhance the sailors’ understanding of the littoral combat ships’ next-generation capabilities and how they will operate while deployed.”

Since crews began training on the nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom, Lockheed Martin has implemented changes to the curriculum based on sailors’ experiences on board the ships during training and deployment. One improvement included providing the initial familiarization phase to all 40 PCU Milwaukee crewmembers. On past ships, including USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth, only five crewmembers completed this initial phase, and their feedback led to an extended training period with the full crew.

During the training, the crew conducted a walkthrough of equipment such as the Aegis-derived COMBATSS-21 command and control system, which constitutes the backbone of the ship’s open architecture combat suite. They also worked with the ship’s computing environment and communications suite to become familiar with the systems in advance of operational underway periods.

Following Crew Familiarization, sailors head to various locations around the country to prepare for their unique duties and responsibilities through the Navy’s training pipeline, where they will receive specialized training for legacy and new systems. Additionally, the crew will undergo shore-based training to complete extensive team exercises focusing on operational scenarios, communications and watch-standing. Upon completion of this shore-based training, they will report to Marinette, Wisconsin, for final training on board PCU Milwaukee.

LCS crews are unique because their assignments encompass a primary set of roles and responsibilities, along with additional tasks outside their positions, leading to diverse cross-training opportunities among the sailors. To augment operations and reduce the crew’s workload, the LCS ship class was designed with greater automation throughout.

The future USS Milwaukee, LCS 5, was awarded in 2010 to the Lockheed Martin-led team. Construction began in 2011 and she was launched and christened in December 2013.

May 29, 2014

From Freedom to Follow-On Ships: Littoral Combat Ship Marks 10-Year Milestone

Ten years ago when the U.S. Navy awarded the contract to build the first littoral combat ship (LCS), former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark stated, “LCS will deliver capabilities to enable our Navy to dominate in this critical littoral region. These ships will be a vital component of tomorrow’s carrier strike groups and expeditionary strike groups. We need this ship today.”

In the 10 years since the contract award, the Lockheed Martin-led industry team has designed, built and delivered two ships and supported the first-in-class on her maiden deployment. Currently, six additional ships are under construction, and the Navy is preparing to deploy USS Fort Worth later this year.

The fast, agile and lethal platform has delivered a wealth of capabilities and proven performance to meet the Navy’s evolving needs. As the maritime landscape changes, the LCS can adapt to counter emerging threats. Its modular design enables the Navy to add new capabilities that boost the platform’s lethality and survivability. And it hosts affordable, proven combat systems to ensure the safety of the sailors who will take the ship into harm’s way.

Freedom Forges the Path Ahead
Since deploying nearly two years early, the nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom, has sailed more than 115,000 nautical miles that provided the Navy with valuable insight on the ship class’s capabilities and design.

In 2010, USS Freedom deployed with the Fourth Fleet in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility and successfully seized more than five tons of cocaine in four drug interdictions. During her first deployment, USS Freedom also participated in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational maritime exercise that built relationships with partners and allies worldwide.

Following a successful first deployment, USS Freedom deployed again in 2013, this time to Southeast Asia, for ten months with the Seventh Fleet in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility. USS Freedom patrolled the South China Sea, provided humanitarian aid and participated in the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), where her success grew to an international level.

Future LCS Fleet Improvements
As the Navy collected data from USS Freedom deployments, the Lockheed Martin industry team incorporated changes into the follow-on hulls under construction at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin. The changes in follow-on ships include increased fuel efficiency and speed; increased interoperability in satellite communications; an easier launch recovery and handling system; and enhanced waterjets.

While integrating improvements, the industry team is also driving down cost per ship for the U.S. Navy. Currently in peak production, the average ship cost across the Navy’s 10-ship buy is at $360 million, which well below the Congressionally-mandated cost cap.

Full Speed Ahead
The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is responding to the Navy’s request for an alternate or evolved LCS design for a small surface combatant with options that increase the survivability and lethality of the ship. The team had already created designs which have been marketed internationally, and interest from other countries could help offset the cost of the domestic program.

“We have a design that is highly flexible,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “The Freedom-class LCS is an upgradable, revolutionary surface combatant that has proven its capabilities, and has been the basis for several mature designs that the team already developed for consideration by navies worldwide. We have a path to enhance the current design as early as 2017.”

The options for modifying the LCS offer a low risk, affordable approach that takes advantage of the Navy’s significant investments in the program, as well as Lockheed Martin’s existing supply chain and efficient production process. By modifying the current platform, upgrades to the LCS platform could be integrated quickly and efficiently to support the U.S. Navy.

LCS: “A New Tool in the Tool Box” – Adm. Rowden

The U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship provides protection, situational awareness and anti-submarine warfare capabilities that give the fleet a valuable edge. And when working with carrier strike groups and guided missile destroyers, LCS is a key asset, according to Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, Navy’s director of surface warfare, in recent reports from Military.com and Reuters on war games that took place in Newport, R.I.

“My initial impressions are that I think [the LCS] is going to play much more significantly in the open water than perhaps we had previously opined,” said the admiral.

Rowden described the LCS as bringing important sensing and protective technologies to the carrier strike group, such as the anti-submarine warfare package, which integrated seamlessly with the destroyers’ sonars and systems. Additionally, he expressed the littoral combat ship would effectively hunt submarines, as evidenced by the war games.

As the concept of operations expands and future requirements for the ship class evolve, the Lockheed Martin team continues to produce Freedom-class ships for the Navy and incorporate lessons learned and improvements.

“The team is coming down the learning curve with multiple hulls in production, and are operating at peak efficiency,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “And all that learning and optimization can directly benefit an upgraded capability on the existing or lengthened hull form.”

The nation’s first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom, deployed for 10 months in 2013 to Southeast Asia. The ship conducted patrols in the South China Sea, participated in multinational naval exercises and provided humanitarian aid during deployment. Later this year, the USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) will embark on a 16-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region to further increase knowledge of the ship class.

Littoral Combat Ship: A Flexible Future Surface Combatant

It can adapt to counter emerging threats. It can evolve to add new capabilities. It can meet the U.S. Navy’s growing needs for affordable combat systems. It’s the Lockheed Martin team’s Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship – designed for survivability and lethality. Its flexible and scalable approach provides value to the Navy in its current design, and the company has already designed variants for international navies that could be leveraged by the U.S. Navy as it determines future requirements.

The Freedom’s steel monohull is scalable from the current length of 118 meters down to 67 meters or up to 140 meters. Its missions include self-defense, air-theater warfare, mine countermeasures, and surface and anti-submarine warfare. Paired with the MH-60R helicopter on board, the platform delivers robust air defense and lethality. Feedback from the recent USS Freedom deployment noted the MH-60R integrated seamlessly into the ship’s combat suite and provided an extension of the ship’s own sensors and weapons.

“We have a design that is highly flexible,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “It exists and has been proven in both small and large scales, showing its tremendous versatility, and offers lower risk in terms of how quickly our industry team’s current design and manufacturing processes can be adjusted to accommodate changes.”

Among those proposed changes to the ship’s design is the Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS), which Lockheed Martin has studied as a foreign-market variant. The Navy could use the MCS as a baseline to pursue an increased self-defense capability for a next generation LCS and/or small surface combatant. Adding another layer of self-defense capabilities would increase the ship’s survivability in high threat environments while also enabling it to simultaneously defend other ships by conducting additional missions like anti-submarine or mine countermeasures.

“We’ve got the flexibility and the experience and the proven systems, both combat and hull, mechanical and electrical to put into the ship to meet the requirements at any level the Navy is looking for,” North said.

COMBATSS-21

At the heart of its combat capabilities is the COMBATSS-21 management system, which is derived from the trusted Lockheed Martin Aegis Combat System. Aegis has shielded ships and sailors against air threats for more than four decades, and provides commonality in LCS for sailors who are already familiar with the system.

“There is a wealth of sailors out there right now who could come off an Aegis destroyer or cruiser and go onto a LCS and be very comfortable and familiar with the system they need to operate,” said North.

Learn more about the Freedom-class LCS and its advanced technology and systems here.

On Your Mark … Get Set …Go! LCS 17, 19 at the Starting Line

Future USS Indianapolis and to-be-named LCS 19 awarded to Lockheed Martin team

USS Fort Worth, the second Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), was delivered two months early to the U.S. Navy. Here, it operates off the coast of San Diego in November 2013, from where it will depart later this year for its first deployment. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy.

On March 10, 2014, the U.S. Navy awarded a Lockheed Martin-led team a $698.9 million contract modification to build two more Littoral Combat Ships (LCS 17 and 19) as the industry team continues to move the four other ships under construction closer to the finish line.

LCS 17 (the future USS Indianapolis) and LCS 19 (yet to be named) are the seventh and eighth of a 10-ship contract originally awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2010. The first ship on this 2010 contract, the USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), was christened and launched in 2013, and is undergoing trials before delivery to the Navy in 2015. The future USS Detroit (LCS 7) will be christened and launched later this year.

Little Rock (LCS 9), Sioux City (LCS 11) and Wichita (LCS 13) are all in various stages of construction. Billings (LCS 15) will begin construction this year.

“Our industry team appreciates the U.S. Navy’s confidence in the LCS program as we continue down the learning curve to make these ships more capable and more affordable,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “We’ll continue to build best-in-class, cost effective ships for the Navy, supporting its need to defeat littoral threats and provide maritime access in critical waterways.”

Shipyard upgrades have streamlined production and made ship construction more cost-efficient. Fincantieri, the parent company of Marinette Marine Corp., the industry team partner building the ship, and Lockheed Martin have invested more than $74 million in the Marinette facility. Among the improvements are technology upgrades that increase efficiency and minimize energy consumption, an expansion that will allow for construction of more than two ships at a time, and process improvements that will speed up production.

The team has also incorporated best practices and lessons learned from USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) in as early as the second ship, which is unprecedented in shipbuilding. Future hulls have added an electrical start capability for the ship’s gas turbine engines, reducing cost, weight and time needed to start the gas turbines. In addition, future hulls will have a smaller side door for personnel and material transfer, further reducing the ship’s weight and improving operability. Finally, the team leveraged a new axial flow waterjet design developed by the U.S. Navy and Office of Naval Research, which will enhance performance and expand the operational envelope.

USS Freedom (LCS 1) completed a successful deployment to Southeast Asia in 2013, participating in several multinational exercises, and contributing to Operation Damayan relief efforts. USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), delivered two months early and commissioned to the fleet in 2012, will deploy in 2014 from her home port of San Diego.

Nearly 900 suppliers across 43 states are contributing to the Freedom variants.

Signing Sioux City’s Steel

On Feb. 19, ship sponsor Mrs. Mary Winnefeld authenticated the keel block for the future USS Sioux City (LCS 11) in Marinette, Wis., by having her initials welded. The ship will carry the sponsor’s initials throughout its entire service to the U.S. Navy.

Industry team celebrates eleventh littoral combat ship’s keel laying

Less than a year after the first sheet of steel was cut for the nation’s eleventh littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Sioux City marked another milestone. On February 19, the industry team led by Lockheed Martin laid the keel in a ceremony at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Sioux City’s construction began from a single steel sheet in June 2013. Now, there are 42 of 71 modules under construction, a result of the full-rate LCS production process at Marinette Marine. Currently, five of the Freedom-class warships are under various stages of construction, demonstrating the swift progress of the program.

“We are proud to provide our Sailors with a proven warship that allows them to carry out their missions around the world,” said Dale P. Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “We are working in partnership with the Navy as they build a fleet able to operate forward, stand ready for any challenges, and serve our essential warfighting requirements.”

Ship sponsor Mrs. Mary Winnefeld authenticated the keel with the traditional signing and welding of her initials. Sioux City will carry Mrs. Winnefeld’s initials throughout the ship’s service to the U.S. Navy.

“I’m both honored and delighted to be back in my home state of Wisconsin as the sponsor of the future USS Sioux City,” said Mrs. Winnefeld. “It’s been a real privilege to meet the great Americans who are building this versatile ship, and I thank them in advance for their quality work.I look forward to meeting her crew soon, being part of her family, and bringing our ship to life when she’s commissioned.”

Sioux City will join the next generation Freedom-class warships in providing the Navy with a flexible, affordable platform to address the changing littoral threats across the globe:

  • USS Freedom, the nation’s first LCS, recently completed her maiden deployment to Southeast Asia. Freedom proved the Navy’s concept of operations as she participated in multinational naval exercises, conducted patrols of the South China Sea and responded to disaster relief efforts.
  • USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) will be the next LCS to deploy later this year.
  • In December 2013, Milwaukee (LCS 5) was formally christened and launched into the Menominee River. Milwaukee will undergo trials before delivery to the Navy.
  • Detroit (LCS 7) and Little Rock (LCS 9) are under construction.
  • Wichita (LCS 13) began construction in January 2014.
  • Billings (LCS 15) will begin construction in 2014

Lay the keel is a shipbuilding term that marks the beginning of the module erection process. Modern warships are now largely built in a series of pre-fabricated, complete hull sections rather than a single keel, so the actual start of the shipbuilding process is now considered to be when the first module for the ship is erected in place and is often marked with a ceremonial event.

Lockheed Martin awards EADS North America LCS TEAM FREEDOM Supplier of the Year 2013

14 January 2014 – During the TEAM FREEDOM supplier luncheon at Surface Navy Association, Lockheed Martin awarded EADS North America the 2013 LCS Supplier of the Year for their exemplary efforts.  The team at EADS NA supported the USS FREEDOM deployment to Southeast Asia and USS FORT WORTH post-delivery trials.  Their commitment to on-time delivery and proactive issue resolution was key to TEAM FREEDOM’s overall success.

SECNAV Visits Marinette, Addresses the LCS Freedom Industry Team

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (center) visited the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard to tour the Lockheed Martin-led team’s Littoral Combat Ship production line. Pictured left to right on the hull of the future USS Little Rock, LCS 9, is Dave Pyron, LCS 9 ship superintendent; Joe North, Lockheed Martin vice president of littoral ships and systems; Ray Mabus, U.S. Secretary of the Navy; Chuck Goddard, President and CEO of Marinette Marine Corporation; and Tom Perrine, Marinette Marine Corporation vice president of manufacturing.

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus met with industry team members Sept. 12 for a tour of the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard and update on the Lockheed Martin-led Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. Mabus, who served as an officer aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock, also addressed employees at the shipyard where LCS 9, the future USS Little Rock, is undergoing construction.

“The littoral combat ship is a critical piece of our future naval forces,” said Mabus. “The U.S. Navy depends on your contributions to this program and our fleet as we continue to meet the challenging missions we face every day.”

Mabus met with Dale Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, Joe North, vice president of littoral ship systems for Lockheed Martin, and Marinette Marine President and CEO Chuck Goddard during the visit to discuss the program’s status. He also spoke with local media about the LCS program.

Lockheed Martin and the Navy will soon celebrate the launch of Milwaukee (LCS 5) 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). Mabus announced in August that the next Freedom-variant warship will be named Indianapolis (LCS 17).

The Navy’s first LCS, the USS Freedom, is more than halfway through a 10-month deployment to Southeast Asia. Through multi-national naval exercises, such as the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), with Malaysia and Singapore, Freedom is proving the Navy’s operational concept with her success.

The Lockheed Martin-led team’s second ship, USS Fort Worth, has received a new paint scheme and is preparing for her next Navy task.

CNO Witnesses LCS History during Shipyard Visit

U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert addressed questions with local media as part of his tour of the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard on Wednesday, July 24, in Marinette, Wis. Greenert met with Lockheed Martin Vice President of Littoral Ship Systems Joe North and Marinette Marine Corporation President and CEO Chuck Goddard for a briefing and program status update on the Littoral Combat Ship program.

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.

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