Navy Lays Keel for LCS Indianapolis

The Navy held a keel-laying ceremony for the ninth Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), future USS Indianapolis (LCS 17), July 18.

Built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin, future USS Indianapolis will be approximately 388 feet in length and have a width of nearly 58 feet.

Ship sponsor Jill Donnelly, wife of Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, served as the honorary keel authenticator during the ceremony.

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"Indianapolis has a proud tradition in the Navy, and the Indianapolis, as the fourth ship to bear the name, will serve to honor the sacrifices of all veterans," said Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. "We are honored to lay the keel of a ship which will protect our freedom and keep us safe, as our Sailors have done for generations."

Previous Portland-class cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA 35) earned 10 battle stars for distinguished World War II service, operating from Pearl Harbor and throughout the Pacific escorting convoys and attacking enemy submarines. The cruiser's service ended when the ship was sunk by a Japanese torpedo minutes after midnight July 30, 1945. Only 317 of the 1,196 sailors serving aboard survived after five days afloat in the Pacific. A survivor of the CA 35 crew, Richard Thelen, attended the keel laying ceremony on behalf of his shipmates.

The LCS class, designed and built by two industry teams, consists of the Freedom variant led by Lockheed Martin for odd-numbered hulls, and the Independence variant led by Austal USA for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls. Thirteen ships are under construction, purchased as part of the Navy's innovative block-buy acquisition strategy.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship with three types of mission packages -- surface warfare, mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare. Program Executive Office LCS is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet.

Source: US Navy
Date: Jul 21, 2016