With more than 75 percent of the nation's first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) under construction, the Lockheed Martin team completed another key milestone - installing the ship's two main propulsion gas turbines. Freedom (LCS 1) is on schedule to launch in the summer of 2006 and deliver to the U.S. Navy in early 2007, 24 months after the start of construction.
Freedom will be powered by an innovative combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion plant, with steerable water jet propulsion. The two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines - the largest gas turbines ever to be installed on a Navy ship - allow LCS to sustain sprint speeds well over 40 knots when lightly loaded. Diesel engines, supplied by Fairbanks Morse, provide power for long distances. Two fixed and two steerable Rolls-Royce water jets enable superior maneuverability for mission execution.
The Lockheed Martin team design, a survivable, semi-planing steel monohull, provides outstanding maneuverability with proven sea-keeping characteristics to support launch and recovery operations, mission execution and optimum crew comfort. The LCS design will be the first surface combatant to be classed under the new Naval Vessel Rules by the American Bureau of Shipping. The Lockheed Martin-led team includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox, ship builders Marinette Marine, a subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc.,
More than two dozen modules that comprise the bulk of Freedom's hull and superstructure are under construction at Marinette Marine and will be assembled in precise order as the ship continues to take shape.
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