MARINETTE, Wis., July 13 (UPI) -- A Lockheed Martin-led team has laid the keel of the U.S. Navy's third Littoral Combat Ship at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin.
The Lockheed Martin-led team, which includes Gibbs & Cox, Marinette Marine Corp. and Bollinger Shipyards, held a ceremony marking the keel-laying of the Navy's Fort Worth Littoral Combat Ship.
The LCS vessels are part of an effort by the Navy to establish a fleet of warships designed to be fast and maneuverable that offers new flexibility to mission critical operations.
"We are committed to continuing our partnership with the Navy and providing them the most affordable solution to fill a critical need," Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors Integrated Defense Technologies business, said in a statement.
"(The Fort Worth's) construction will benefit from lessons learned on USS Freedom. It will be built using Marinette Marine's modular production process that enables ship modules to be outfitted up to 85 percent complete prior to launch."
Officials say the Fort Worth is expected to be delivered in 2012.