Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy on Saturday will christen the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS St. Louis in Marinette, Wis., which is the seventh ship to bear the name.
The christening, scheduled for 10 a.m. CST, will feature U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt as the principal speaker and Barbara Taylor, wife of Enterprise Holdings chairman Andy Taylor, will be sponsor of the ship.
The USS St. Louis is the 19th littoral combat ship to be christened by the Navy, and 10th Freedom-class LCS built by Lockheed Martin's Fincantieri Marinette Marine.
"This christening marks the transition of USS St. Louis being a mere hull number to a ship with a name and a spirit, and is a testament to the increased lethality and readiness made possible by the combined effort between our industrial partners and the Navy and Marine Corps team," Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said in a press release.
Marinette was contracted for construction of the St. Louis in 2010, with the vessel receiving it's name in April 2015 and its keel laid in May 2017. Taylor also welded her initials onto a steel plate of the ship during the keel laying.
The new LCS is meant to be a focused-mission platform for near-shore environments, in addition to open-ocean missions, and is designed to counter threats such as mines, submarines and fast surface craft.
The vessel is the seventh to carry the name St. Louis, following a sloop of war, Civil War gunboat, Spanish-American War-era steamer troop ship, World War I cruiser, World War II light cruiser and Cold War-era attack cargo ship.