Marinette - The future USS St. Louis was christened and launched on Saturday. The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 19) into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard. Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor, the daughter of a decorated World War II aviator, christened the vessel. The Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, and LCS 19 is targeted to support the mine countermeasures mission. The vessel is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. She will be the seventh ship to bear the name St. Louis.
The first was a sloop of war, the second a Civil War gunboat, followed by a Spanish-American War-era steamer troop ship, a World War I cruiser, a World War II light cruiser, and a Cold War era attack cargo ship. Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered seven ships to the U.S. Navy. There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. This year, the Lockheed Martin-led team began construction on two ships, delivered two ships, completed sea trials for three ships and saw one delivered ship commissioned. LCS 13, the future USS Wichita, is slated for commissioning in Mayport, Florida, on January 12.