USS Minneapolis-St. Paul combat ship under construction for U.S. Navy

- A combat ship named after the Twin Cities will be joining the fleet in the U.S. Navy.

Lockheed Martin is constructing Littoral Combat Ship 21, which will be called the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul. LCS 21 is the 11th Freedom-variant LCS and is the 21st in its class.

To celebrate the future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul, on Thursday officials with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy held a keel laying ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. The keel is usually the first part of a ship's hull to be constructed.

As is tradition, the ship's sponsor, Jodi J. Greene, authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship. Greene is the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Policy and is from Duluth.

The USS Minneapolis-St. Paul is being designed for coastal water battlespace and will be used for missions like mine-clearing, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The ship is set to launch in 2020.

This will be the second vessel in the U.S. Navy to be named after the Twin Cities. The SSN-708 submarine was the first USS Minneapolis-St. Paul. It was decommissioned in 2008.

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