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Littoral Combat Ship Fabrication Facility Begins Construction

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Lockheed Martin Ship And Aviation Systems
: 08 March, 2011  (Company News)
New facility for early stage fabrication work on the US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship will improve logistics in the overall manufacturing process
Littoral Combat Ship Fabrication Facility Begins Construction
Marinette Marine Corporation, a member of the Lockheed Martin-led Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) industry team, has broken ground for a new panel-line fabrication building to support construction of the US Navy’s LCS.

The new building will improve the first stage of ship construction at Marinette Marine and decrease ship module travel distance throughout the LCS construction process. The building will feature automation to increase efficiency and provide the capacity for storage of steel and other raw materials.

In addition to this groundbreaking, Marinette Marine also marked the opening of its professional center and the completion of a project to expand its main indoor ship construction building. This expansion project nearly doubles the building’s size and provides enough indoor space to simultaneously house two complete LCS hulls and parts for two additional ships.

These investments are part of a five-year, $100 million plan by the shipyard’s parent company, Fincantieri, to modernize its US shipbuilding operations, which will benefit the LCS program. In 2009, Marinette Marine installed higher-capacity overhead cranes, plasma-cutting tables and pipe-bending machines to increase efficiency and capacity.

“We are very pleased to continue with our shipyard modernization capital plan, increasing our capacity for the LCS program and enhancing our capabilities,” Richard McCreary, president and CEO of Marinette Marine. “This plan has been carefully laid out to add the new, larger facilities with additional automation prior to the phase out of select older facilities.”

“The projects underway at Marinette Marine will ensure our team continues improving efficiency for the LCS class,” said Joe North, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Littoral Ship Systems business. “As we enter serial production, the shipyard enhancements – combined with lessons learned from building two ships in this class – will enable us to meet the Navy’s need for affordable and survivable warships.”

Marinette Marine and Lockheed Martin constructed and launched the nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom. USS Freedom’s capabilities have been demonstrated since its commissioning in 2008. The ship successfully completed its first deployment in 2010 and is now based in its homeport of San Diego, Calif. The industry team is also constructing the Navy’s third LCS, Fort Worth, which was launched and christened in December. The ship is more than 80 percent complete and remains on cost and on schedule for delivery in 2012.
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