Thursday, December 2, 2010

The USS Ft. Worth

The USS Ft. Worth, LCS-3, will be christened this weekend by Rep. Kay Grainger (R-TX). Ms. Grainger's district includes Ft. Worth, a city she used to be mayor of. This is the first Navy ship to bear the name of the city, which is the 17th largest in the US. Ft. Worth has a long history of supporting the military (Bell Helicopter is located in the county, AF Plant 4 (Consolidated/General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin is a major defense production facility on the west side of the city, co-located with Carswell AFB/NAS Ft. Worth.)

The Ft. Worth is the third ship of the Littoral Combat Ship class. These ships are designed for close in fighting in coastal waters, closer to land than traditional Navy ships. The ships are modular, being able to switch mission specific equipment in and out depending upon its tasking.

The vessel is being constructed at Marionette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin. It was designed by Lockheed-Martin. In an odd twist, one of her first commanding officers will be a man who was born at Carswell AFB in Ft. Worth, and grew up near the city. The ship will be homeported in San Diego after is is completed in early 2012.

The LCS series of ships actually contains two very different platforms. LCS-1 and LCS-3 look like conventional ships, while LCS-2 is a tri-maran platform.

Photos credit US Navy
Here is some video of the sea trials for LCS-2, the USS Independence. She is the Ft. Worth's predecessor. Wild looking ship!

Update - Lockheed-Martin announced it has received a $3.6 billion contract form the US Navy to build 10 more LCS class ships over the next 5 years. The will be built inthe same Wisconsin shipyard the USS Ft. Worth is currently being finished at. I did not see a breakdown on how many would be LCS-2 type vs. how many LCS-3 type.

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