Secretary of the Navy Gordon England has selected the name Freedom for the Navys first new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).
The future USS Freedom acknowledges the enduring foundation of our nation and honors American communities from coast to coast which bear the name Freedom. States having towns named Freedom range from New York to California, and include Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
These new, fast and capable ships will increase the effectiveness of our naval forces and provide us with an ability to operate in the littoral areas of the world where the enemies of freedom seek to operate and hide England said. The USS Freedom and her crew will defend the noble cause for which they are named, he added.
LCS is an innovative combatant designed to counter challenging shallow-water threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, submarines and fast surface craft.
LCS ships will be fast, agile, and networked surface combatants and will utilize focused-mission packages that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles to execute a variety of missions.
In May 2004, the Department of Defense awarded both Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics - Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, separate contract options for final system design with options for detail design and construction of up to two LCS ships.
In December 2004, the Department of Navy awarded Lockheed Martin Corp., Maritime Systems & Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., a contract for detail design and construction of the first LCS. Lockheed Martins teammates include Gibbs & Cox, Arlington, Va.; Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wis.; and Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La.
A keel laying ceremony is scheduled for June 2, 2005, at Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wis.
For more information on the Littoral Combat Ship, visit the LCS Web site at http://peoships.crane.navy.mil/lcs/ .