WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced August 16 that the next Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) will be named USS Indianapolis. USS Indianapolis, designated LCS 17, will be the fourth ship to bear the name. A previous Indianapolis (CA 35) is best known for its role in World War II, where it operated from Pearl Harbor and throughout the Pacific escorting convoys and attacking enemy submarines. Indianapolis' service ended when it was sunk by a Japanese torpedo minutes after midnight July 30, 1945. Only 317 of the 1,196 sailors serving aboard the ship survived after five days afloat in the Pacific Ocean. Indianapolis earned 10 battle stars for the ship's distinguished World War II service. "I chose to name this ship Indianapolis because of the legacy this name holds," Mabus said. "When people hear Indianapolis, they will be reminded of the incredible bravery and sense of duty with which our men and women in uniform serve." LCSs are designed to defeat littoral threats, and provide access and dominance in coastal waters. A fast, agile surface combatant, LCS provides war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare.
Indianapolis will be built with modular design incorporating mission packages that can be changed out quickly as combat needs demand. These mission packages are supported by detachments that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles, and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions. Construction of LCS 17 is contingent upon Congressional authorization and appropriation of fiscal year 2014 funding. The ship will be 388 feet long, have a waterline beam length of 58 feet and make speeds in excess of 40 knots. The construction will be led by a Lockheed Martin industry team in Marinette, Wis.