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Future USS Wichita LCS launched

The 13th littoral combat ship launched on Saturday.

By Geoff Ziezulewicz
Future USS Wichita LCS launched
A Lockheed Martin-led team launched the 13th U.S. Navy littoral combat ship, the Wichita, during a ceremony Saturday in Marinette, Wis., the company said. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin

MARINETTE, Wis., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A Lockheed Martin-led team launched the 13th U.S. Navy littoral combat ship, the Wichita, during a ceremony Saturday in Marinette, Wis., the company said.

The ceremony sent the Wichita into the Menominee river at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard, Lockheed said in a statement.

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

The Freedom-variant LCS is currently in full-rate production, with six ships under construction at the Marinette shipyard and three more in long-lead material procurement.

The industry team is comprised of Lockheed Martin, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox and more than 500 suppliers in 37 states.

LCS 13 will be the third Navy ship named USS Wichita, joining the CA-45 World War II-era heavy crusier and a Wichita-class replenishment oiler.

Earlier this month the Navy announced an overhaul of the oft-troubled and costly LCS program.

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