The Navy will christen its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Beloit (LCS 29), during a 10:00 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, May 7, in Marinette, Wisconsin.
The Honorable Tammy Baldwin, U. S. Sen. from Wisconsin, will be the principal speaker. The Honorable Mike Gallagher, U. S. Rep. from Wisconsin’s 8th District; Vice Adm. John Fuller, Naval Inspector General; Vice Adm. Francis Morley, Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition; and Ms. Lori Curtis Luther, City Manager of Beloit, Wisconsin, as well as shipbuilders Steve Allen, Vice President, Small Combatants and Ship Systems, Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors, and Mark Vandroff, Chief Executive Officer, Fincantieri Marinette Marine will also provide remarks.
In a time-honored Navy tradition, the ship’s sponsor, Beloit-native and retired Army Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
“The future USS Beloit will be the first U.S. Navy ship honoring the proud naval contributions of Beloit, Wisconsin,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “I have no doubt the Sailors of USS Beloit (LCS 29) will stand the watch with pride and be ready to respond to any mission, wherever, and whenever, there is a need.”
LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The platform is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom and the Independence, designed and built by two industry teams. Lockheed Martin leads the Freedom-variant team, or odd-numbered hulls, constructed in Marinette, Wisconsin. Austal USA leads the Independence-variant team in Mobile, Alabama, for LCS 2 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls.
LCS 29 is the 15th Freedom-variant LCS and 29th in the LCS class. It is the first ship named in honor of the city of Beloit, Wisconsin.