Lockheed Martin-led team lays keel on 19th Littoral Combat Ship

Lockheed Martin-led team lays keel on 19th Littoral Combat Ship

The United States Navy's 19th littorial combat ship, or LCS, will now be the next U.S.S St. Louis.

Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor oversaw the ritual of welding of the ship's initials into the keel.

The building of the USS St. Louis has officially begun.

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is now in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered four ships to the U.S. Navy to date.

The future USS St Louis, dubbed LCS 19, is one of seven ships in various construction stages at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Lockheed Martin said Wednesday.

The US has reached a $6 billion (€5.35bn) deal for Saudi Arabia to buy four littoral combat ships made by Lockheed Martin in a package of major arms purchases as president Donald Trump travels to the kingdom, people familiar with the transaction said.

"The primary difference between the Freedom-class and the Saudi-variant is the lack of modular mission space found in the US version of the Littoral Combat Ship", USNI noted.

The first was a sloop of war launched in 1828; it served as the flagship for the West Indies Squadron that fought to suppress piracy in the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico region.

Costing less than a third of a brand new Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the Littoral Combat Ship is the Navy's most affordable surface combatant shipbuilding program and the ideal platform to grow the U.S. Navy fleet quickly and affordably.