US Navy Celebrates Keel-Laying of Future USS Detroit

US Navy Celebrates Keel-Laying of Future USS Detroit

The U.S. Navy celebrated the keel-laying of the future USS Detroit Nov. 8 at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, where the nation’s seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is under construction by a Lockheed Martin-led team.

During the traditional ceremony, ship sponsor Barbara Levin, the wife of Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, authenticated the keel by having her signature welded into it. She was assisted by Rear Admiral James Murdoch, the Navy’s Program Executive Officer – Littoral Combat Ships.

“This ceremony marks the beginning of my commitment to supporting the future USS Detroit and the brave crews that will serve aboard her to defend our country,” said Barbara Levin.  ”It is a very moving moment for me, as I am very proud to serve as the sponsor of this powerful ship which honors my native city.”

“It’s an honor to participate in this event for the future USS Detroit,” said Sen. Levin. “The keel laying ceremony marks a great milestone for the program and the naval fleet. These ships are vital to our national defense strategy and their production contributes significantly to the Wisconsin and Michigan economies.”

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as hundreds of domestic and international suppliers, including approximately 30 small businesses in Wisconsin and Michigan.

US Navy Celebrates Keel-Laying of Future USS Detroit

“Marinette Marine Corporation’s shipbuilding expertise, coupled with Lockheed Martin’s integrated and automated systems that bring the capability to fight, operate and support the ship, make the Freedom-variant LCS a powerful vessel,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “The LCS team continues to invest in shipyard improvements and has applied best practices to ensure we continue to be more efficient and more innovative with each new ship we build.”

By 2013, industry investment will total approximately $94 million, which includes nearly $70 million to date from Marinette Marine Corporation’s Italian parent Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani for shipyard improvements.

Naval Today Staff, November 14, 2012; Image: Lockheed Martin