08/15/2018- LCS 23, the future USS Cooperstown, is officially in construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. A keel laying ceremony was held Tuesday at the shipyard. Ellen Tillapaugh, Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown serves as the LCS’s keel authenticator. As part of the ceremony, Tillapaugh’s initials were welded into a steel plate that will be permanently affixed to the future USS Cooperstown. The ship will be the first to bear the name and was given the name to honor the veterans who are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Tillapaugh says Cooperstown is likely the smallest municipality to have a naval ship named after it.
And, although Tuesday’s ceremony was all about LCS 23, the future of the LCS program as a whole has been on the minds of many this week. Monday, President Donald Trump signed the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes funding for three more littoral combat ships. Rob Hutcheson, LCS Production Program Director with Lockheed Martin says the spending bill will help sustain the current workforce.
LCS 23 will be constructed by bringing together the more than three dozen grand modules that form the ship. The future USS Cooperstown is expected to be christened and launched late next year.