The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program was initiated in February 2002 in the efforts to reduce time to manufacture, plan, and assemble the ship line. Constructed in Marinette, Wisconsin, the USS Freedom, also known as LCS 1, was made by Lockheed Martin. The finished product was delivered on September 18, 2008. Following that was the LCS 2 and LCS 4, which consisted of vessels delivered by Bath Iron Works and Austal USA. This was headed by the Independence-variant team, whereas the LCS 1 was led by the Freedom-variant team. General Dynamics was responsible for the construction of the LCS 4. Designed to meet the needs of rough coastal waters and urgent mission assignments, the Littoral Combat Ship is growing in popularity within the industry.
The United States Department of Defense along with the US Navy are amongst the first to contract these ships. It is estimated that an average of 56 LCS ships will be included in the final deal. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, announced, “The name St. Louis holds a strong naval legacy. In this era when our country is faced with similar challenges as our forefathers, it's important that all who encounter this ship are reminded of the history of our Navy's bravery and sense of duty."
Along with honor, the LCS Program is shown to improve efficiency and provide the needed force. The LCS 1 and LCS 2 are able to reach speeds more than 40kt and long-range distances of over 3,500 miles. Hard at work, the Lockheed Martin team has accumulated the needed resources to reach the Navy’s expectations. This taskforce is made up of Marinette Marine shipyard, Bollinger Shipyards, Gibbs & Cox naval architects, Izar of Spain, and Blohm & Voss naval shipbuilders. With increasing need for defense, the Navy sees great potential in the LCS line in years to come.
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