Littoral Combat Ships Transform Wisconsin’s Marinette Marine Shipyard

MARINETTE, Wis., Sept 6 (Reuters) – Big investments, lean manufacturing techniques borrowed from the automotive industry, and a more engaged workforce have revamped the Wisconsin shipyard where Italy’s Fincantieri SpA builds the Freedom variant of the U.S. Navy’s coastal warships for prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.

Fincantieri invested $100 million in recent years to transform the 1940s era shipyard into a state-of-the-art facility, where seven LCS ships are now under construction, including three that have already been launched into the river.

Fincantieri and Lockheed hope to leverage the resulting savings in a multibillion-dollar U.S. Navy competition expected to kick off in late fiscal 2017 for 20 frigates, or upgraded versions of the current Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).

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