Newest Freedom-variant LCS USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul enters service

The US Navy commissioned USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) as the newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) during a ceremony held on 21 May in Duluth, Minnesota.

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21); Photo by: US Navy

The ship was built by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine. It was launched and christened in June 2019 and completed acceptance trials in August 2020.

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The shipbuilder delivered the vessel last November.

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the second naval ship to honor Minnesota’s Twin Cities, although each city has been honored twice before.

The first US Navy warship named Minneapolis-Saint Paul was a Los Angeles-class submarine launched in 1983 that participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (SSN 708) was the first submarine to carry Tomahawk missiles specifically designed for use in strikes against Iraq during the Gulf War. Having served for over two decades with distinction, the Navy decommissioned the submarine in 2007.

“It is fitting that a littoral combat ship is named for Minneapolis-Saint Paul, honoring the rich history, hard work, and contributions of the people there,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.

“I am certain the crew who will man this ship will carry on the legacy of the ‘Twin Cities’ and will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom.”

LCSs are designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The units are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul will homeport at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.