The US Navy commissioned USS Sioux City (LCS 11) – the nation's sixth Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) – at the United States Naval Academy. This milestone places the ship, built by Lockheed Martin, into active service.
Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy's fleet.
It is fast—capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.
It is automated—with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
It is lethal—standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
It is flexible—with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, integrating capabilities like the Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles targeted to meet today's and tomorrow's missions.
"We are confident that LCS 11 will be what the Navy needs, when the fleet needs it," said Joe DePietro, vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems, Lockheed Martin. "We remain focused on delivering these ships as quickly as possible with increasing capability and lethality. These ships will have a long lifespan, and we're working with the Navy to make LCS even stronger and more resilient."
The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. LCS 11 is equipped to support surface warfare.
LCS continues to increase in capability. This year, LCS 5 and 7 completed Longbow Hellfire missile testing, LCS 9 completed RAM testing and LCS 5 and 9 participated in Fleet Weeks around the United States.
The Freedom-variant LCS is designed to integrate modular weapons, as well as manned and unmanned vehicles to deliver critical warfighting capability to the fleet in mine counter measures, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
"LCS is our most effective fleet asset to counter asymmetric small craft threats," said Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson. "This ship and the ships like her are going to complicate any adversary's operating picture. You're going to need to keep track of Sioux City when she's at sea, because if you don't, she's going to make you pay for that."
There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, where the Freedom-variant LCS is built. The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 13, the future USS Wichita, slated for commissioning in Mayport, Florida, in January. LCS 19 is scheduled for christening on Dec. 15.
"Two thousand men and women crafted this ship from flat steel to the capable and agile surface combatant being commissioned. The men and women who sail this ship have an enormous responsibility in protecting our nation and allies, and we consider it a privilege to support these missions," said Jan Allman, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. "I am confident that when called upon, the USS Sioux City will always prevail."