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US Navy’s 21st littoral combat ship completes acceptance trials

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul
Photo: Lockheed Martin

Future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the US Navy’s 21st littoral combat ship, has completed acceptance trials in Lake Michigan.

Lockheed Martin, the main contractor in charge of delivering Freedom variant LCSs, said the trials included a full-power run, maneuverability testing, and surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery and machinery control and automation.

Now that trials are complete, the ship will undergo final outfitting and fine-tuning before delivery to the US Navy. LCS 21 is the eleventh Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and is slated for delivery to the Navy early next year.

The ships are built at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard where the construction of the 15th Freedom variant and the 29th LCS began recently. The Independence-variant of the LCS, featuring a trimaran hull, is being built and delivered by Austal USA.

“LCS 21 joins a fleet of sister ships delivering unique flexibility and capability to the US Navy,” said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager, Small Combatants and Ship Systems. “Freedom-variant LCS are inherently capable to serve freedom of navigation, drug interdiction and humanitarian missions, and with additional capabilities onboarded, they can serve further focused missions.”