The Navy's littoral combat ship, the future USS Fort Worth sails from Marinette Marine's shipyard for Galveston, Texas.
Fort Worth is the third littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy, and the second LCS of the steel, semi-planing, mono-hull Freedom variant is scheduled to be commissioned on Sept. 22, 2012.
Prior to sail-away, the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) conducted acceptance trials aboard Forth Worth. INSURV found the ship to be "highly capable, well-built and inspection ready," and recommended the vessel be accepted.
A number of design changes have been incorporated in LCS 3 based on lessons learned from the first ship of class, USS Freedom (LCS 1). These changes are now part of the baseline design and will be incorporated into future ships of the class prior to construction.
The littoral combat ship is a high-speed, agile, shallow-draft, focused-mission surface combatant designed for operation in near-shore environments yet fully capable of open-ocean operation.
Fort Worth, a high-speed steel mono-hull ship, is designed to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.
The 387-foot Fort Worth will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed over quickly, and focus on three mission areas: mine countermeasures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.