Navy accepts third littoral ship

The Fort Worth will call San Diego home

The future Fort Worth, LCS 3, successfully completed acceptance trials May 4 on Lake Michigan. The ship's major systems and equipment were tested prior to the Navy accepting the ship. — Lockheed Martin

Written by Jeanette Steele
5:51 p.m., June 6, 2012

Two months early, the Navy officially accepted delivery Wednesday of the Fort Worth, the third ship in its new littoral combat line.

Delivery is the last milestone before a ship is commissioned, which is scheduled for Sept. 22 in Galveston, Texas. After that, the Fort Worth will make its way to San Diego, its expected home port.

The Lockheed Martin-designed Fort Worth was built by Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, Wis.

Fort Worth is the second of the Freedom variant, which has a traditional single ship hull. The Independence variant is an aluminum trimaran.

Before delivery, the Fort Worth fared well in acceptance trials last month.

The Freedom, the first littoral warship to be built, recently passed a major milestone, its Navy Board of Inspection and Survey, INSURV, trials. Those results were a bright spot in what otherwise has been a rocky early record for the Navy's littoral class.

Beset by cost overruns and performance and maintenance problems, the first littoral ships have faced criticism in Congress and from government watchdogs.

The Navy has stood by the ship line, which is billed as being fast and nimble for coastal fighting. The ships are meant to have interchangeable parts that allow them to take on ships, submarines or mines, depending on which component is on board.

Navy officials have said that early problems are typical and what they've learned from the Freedom and the Independence, the first two ships of the line, have informed engineering on later ships.

The fourth littoral vessel will be called the Coronado. Tentatively, that ship, another trimaran, is expected to be commissioned in Coronado in mid 2013.

Up to 16 littoral ships will be stationed in San Diego, the Navy has said.

Over the weekend, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that up to four littoral ships will be deployed to Singapore on a rotational basis. The Freedom is expected to be the first of those, starting in the spring of 2013.

Navy accepts third littoral ship |