US Navy christens new Freedom-class LCS Indianapolis

The US Navy’s future USS Indianapolis (LCS 17). Credit: US Navy courtesy of Marinette Marine by Val Ihde / Released. The US Navy has christened its newest Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Indianapolis (LCS 17), during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin.

LCS 17 represents the fourth ship to be named in honour Indiana’s state capital.

The vessel has been designed as a fast, agile, mission-focused platform and is intended to carry out operations in near-shore environments.

It will also be capable of conducting open-ocean activities.

US Navy Secretary Richard V Spencer said: “The future USS Indianapolis honours more than a city, it pays tribute to the legacy of those who served during the final days of World War II on-board USS Indianapolis (CA-35).

“This ship will continue the proud legacy of service embodied in the name Indianapolis and is a testament to the true partnership between the navy and industry.”

The vessel is the US Navy’s 17th LCS and has been primarily designed to defeat asymmetric ‘anti-access’ threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems vice-president Joe DePietro said: “The Freedom-variant LCS is flexible and capable, and plays a critical role in the US Navy’s fleet.

“With an active production and testing, we are committed to delivering Indianapolis and her highly capable sister ships into combatant commanders’ hands quickly.”

LCS vessels are modular, reconfigurable units that have been specifically developed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare (SUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions conducted in the littoral region.

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team also comprises shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox and more than 800 suppliers across 42 states.

The team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-class LCSs and has delivered a total of five vessels to the US Navy to date.

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