Article originally appears courtesy of Fox 11 News (March 1, 2020)
A celebration was held at the at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard to honor the littoral combat ship’s next significant production milestone.
“It all starts with the work that you do every single day and if we’re going to keep building ships right here in Marinette for decades to come it’s going to be because of your hard work,” U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-8th District, said to a crowd of individuals on Saturday morning.
As the U.S. Navy gets ready to replace littoral combat ships with frigates, Marinette Marine is working with the state to make shipyard improvements in hopes of landing the next generation of navy vessels.
Marinette Marine is one of four shipyards in the running for a multi-billion-dollar Navy contract. A $29 million state grant announced this week will allow the Port of Marinette to upgrade the waterfront and create a sink roll lift. The lift allows ships to go directly into the water as opposed to the side launch.
“What that allows us to do is build almost 95% complete inside the buildings as opposed to finishing the ship in the water, so it’s more efficient, less costly and cuts down on some of the time,” Rick Hunt, president of Fincantieri Marinette Marine said.
If awarded the contract, Marinette Marine plans to add up to 6,000 jobs.
“This would be huge, huge for the navy and huge for Northeast Wisconsin,” Gallagher added.
As for the future USS Cooperstown, it’s slated to begin sea trials later this year.