US Navy commissions new littoral combat ship

The United States Navy’s seventh Freedom-class littoral combat ship, USS Wichita (LCS 13) was commissioned to active service during a ceremony on January 12 at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

US Navy photo

“The LCS, like your favorite mobile device, offers more portability and maneuverability, while being much less conspicuous,” said Cmdr. Nathan Rowan, commanding officer of Wichita. “And, like a smartphone, the LCS packs quite a hefty punch for such a small package.”

According to Lockheed Martin, The Freedom-class LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions.

“It is enabled with the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Common Source Library, which drives commonality among the fleet,” Lockheed said. “The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.”

Lockheed said that there are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, where the Freedom-variant LCS is built.

“The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 15, the future USS Billings, slated for delivery this spring,” it noted.