Built by the Lockheed Martin team, the future USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) set sail Aug. 6 from the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin on its maiden voyage to Galveston, Texas, for its commissioning Sept. 22. The Lockheed Martin team, which includes Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox and numerous suppliers, delivered the Fort Worth to the Navy on budget June 6 – two months early.
“The ship’s builders and crew have done an exceptional job preparing Fort Worth for sailaway,” said Rear Adm. James Murdoch, program executive officer for Littoral Combat Ships. “This ship is incredibly well built and will provide a tremendous capability to the Fleet.”
Using lessons learned from building the nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom, the Lockheed Martin team made Forth Worth quicker, better and more affordably. As with other new ship classes, Fort Worth incorporates enhancements that account for the valuable feedback from first in class ship, USS Freedom (LCS 1). These changes include an extended surface area that provides an upgraded capability for the ship to carry more fuel and enhances the range, speed and payload and internalized buoyancy tanks which bring even greater stability.
“LCS is critically important to the Navy. Delivering Fort Worth two months early shows how we’ve made building these ships more efficient already,” said Joe North, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Littoral Ships and Systems. “Our team’s shipyard investment and streamlined processes are making us more efficient and more affordable.”
Construction of the Lockheed Martin team’s next two Freedom variant LCSs – the Milwaukee (LCS 5) and Detroit (LCS 7) – is underway in Marinette. Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) were awarded in March 2012, and the industry team is procuring long-lead materials for their construction.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, August 8, 2012