Fincantieri Marinette Marine has marked the start of construction on the US Navy’s future USS Beloit (LCS 29), the 15th Freedom variant littoral combat ship and the 30th overall in the class that spans two different hull forms.
During a ceremony at the company’s Marinette site, a shipyard worker welded into the ship’s keel plate the initials of Major General Marcia M. Anderson (US Army, Retired), USS Beloit ship sponsor. This plate will be affixed to the ship and travel with Beloit throughout its commissioned life.
To date, four Freedom-variant LCS have deployed to support US Navy presence and peacekeeping missions. In May, LCS 7 (USS Detroit) partnered with a US Navy destroyer and Coast Guard teams to serve interdiction missions in the US Southern Command Area of Responsibility.
“With two deployments so far this year, Freedom-variant LCS have proven that they are capable and can serve a unique role in the US Navy’s fleet,” said Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. “LCS’ speed, maneuverability and flexibility allows the ship to serve a multitude of missions by quickly integrating equipment and deploying manned and unmanned aerial, surface or sub-surface vehicles.”
Beloit is one of six LCS in various stages of construction and test at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard.
“We are proud to celebrate the future USS Beloit today,” said Jan Allman, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. “The Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard is honored to build this capable warship, named for another city from the wonderful state of Wisconsin. I think this is a true testament to the hard work and patriotism of Midwesterners, and we look forward to working with the City of Beloit as we continue building LCS 29 for our US Navy partner.”
The Freedom-variant LCS are designed and built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin, while the Independence-variant of the LCS, featuring a trimaran hull, is being delivered by Austal USA.