Video: US Navy’s 13th LCS hits water for first time

USS Wichita, the U.S. Navy’s 13th littoral combat ship was launched during a September 17 ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette.

Lockheed Martin, the company leading the industry team that builds the Freedom variant of LCS ships has shared a video of LCS 13 hitting the water moments after being christened.

Ship sponsor, Kate Lehrer, christened the future USS Wichita, in Navy tradition by breaking a champagne bottle across the ship’s bow just prior to the launch.

LCS 13 will undergo additional outfitting and testing at Fincantieri Marinette Marine before the ship’s anticipated delivery next year.

“The christening and launch of LCS 13 marks an important step in her journey towards joining the fleet,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems. “The Freedom-variant LCS plays a critical role in the U.S. Navy’s maritime security strategy, and we are committed to getting LCS 13 and her highly capable sister ships into combatant commanders’ hands as quickly as possible.”

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant, with six ships under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine and three more in long-lead material procurement.