The team ofÂ Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine has laid the keel of the future USS Beloit, theÂ 15thÂ littoral combat ship of the U.S. Navy's Freedom class, at a ceremony that was held in Wisconsin and marked the start of the shipbuilding project.
The LCS 29 vesselÂ isÂ named for retired Major Gen. Marcia Anderson, who became the first African-American woman to reach that military rankÂ in the branch's history,Â Lockheed said Wednesday.
Her initials were engraved onto a steel plate that will be affixed to the ship.
The Freedom-variant LCS platform hasÂ logged over 500K nautical miles so far. Lockheed noted that the service has deployed four vessels in that classÂ to conductÂ peacekeeping missions and expand presence at sea.