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USS Marinette, latest Navy littoral combat ship, launched

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's latest littoral combat ship was launched at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, the Naval Sea Systems Command announced.

LCS 25, the future Freedom-class ship USS Marinette and named in honor of the city where it was built, was launched in the Menominee River on Saturday after a ceremony reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic. It slid into the water using the side launch system, one of the last planned side launches at the shipyard, which is transitioning to a shiplift system in anticipation of building larger frigates.

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The shipyard was awarded the contract to build the vessel in 2016. The keel was laid in 2019. The ship will undergo acceptance trials before it is officially received by the Navy.

The littoral combat ship class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant. Lockheed Martin leads the production of the Freedom variant. The new ship is the Navy's 13th Freedom-variant ship. Currently, 11 LCSs of both variants are under construction, the Naval Sea Systems Command said in a statement.

The littoral combat ship is regarded as highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable, a high speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused vessel suitable for shallow water and ocean-going assignments useful in mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions.

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