The Navy will christen and launch the newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Cleveland (LCS 31), during a 10:00 a.m. CDT ceremony on Saturday, April 15, in Marinette, Wisconsin.  This event marks the last planned side-launch of a ship at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wisconsin Shipyard.  Follow-on ships are planned to be launched using a shiplift system.

The principal speaker Mr. Andrew Haeuptle, director of Navy staff, will deliver the ceremonial principal address. Remarks will also be provided by Rear Adm. Thomas Anderson, program executive officer, ships; Mr. Austin Davis, senior policy advisor, City of Cleveland, Ohio; Mr. Steve Allen, vice president, small combatants and ship systems, Lockheed Martin Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors; and Mr. Mark Vandroff, chief executive officer, Fincantieri Marinette Marine. Mrs. Robyn Modly, wife of former Acting Secretary of the Navy and Cleveland native, the Honorable Thomas B. Modly, will break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to symbolically christen the ship.

“This christening is a significant milestone for the future USS Cleveland, the ship’s sponsor Mrs. Robyn Modly, and the prospective crew,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “LCS 31 will be another step closer to joining our fleet, sailing the open seas, continuing to defend our nation, and representing the strong connection our Navy has with the city of Cleveland.”

Cleveland is the 16th and final Freedom-variant LCS and the fourth ship to be named in honor of the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Previous USS Cleveland’s were the World War I cruiser (C 19), the World War II light cruiser (CL 55), and the Vietnam-era amphibious transport dock (LPD 7), decommissioned in 2011.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class are fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored surface combatants that operate in near-shore and open-ocean environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. LCSs integrate with joint, combined, manned, and unmanned teams to support forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.

The LCS class consists of two variants, Freedom and Independence, designed and built by two separate industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1). It is a steel monohull design constructed by Lockheed Martin in the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corporation’s shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. More information on the Littoral Combat Ship Program can be found at:  https://www.navy.mil/Resources/Fact-Files/Display-FactFiles/Article/2171607/littoral-combat-ship-class-lcs/.