shown here is sister-ship USS Freedom underway
MARINETTE, Wis., July 29 (UPI)
The U.S. Navy's third littoral combat ship is being readied for sea trials in the autumn by Lockheed Martin's LCS program team.
The USS Fort Worth, the second ship of the Freedom variant of the LCS program, was christened in December and is more than 93 percent complete, Lockheed reported.
The ship will be delivered to the Navy early next year.
"The team is focused on driving affordability initiatives through the entire process, and we'll soon begin construction on the nation's fifth LCS," said Joe North, vice president of littoral ship systems at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Sensors business.
"We remain committed to helping the Navy bring new and needed littoral capabilities to its fleet for current and future war fighting needs."
On LCS 3, the future USS Fort Worth, the team completed light-off of the ship's diesel generators this May and light-off of the main engines and rolling the propulsion shafts this month.
LCS 3 is being constructed with 30 percent fewer production hours as a result of experience in designing and building USS Freedom.
USS Freedom, the nation's first littoral combat ship, has completed preparations for final contractor trials. Trials include testing the surface warfare mission package and the deck landing qualifications of the MH-60R helicopter.
In addition to Marinette Marine Corp., a Fincantieri company, the Lockheed Martin-led team for LCS 3 includes naval architect Gibbs and Cox as well as best-of-industry domestic and international companies.