US Navy held christening ceremony for Freedom-variant LCS USS Cleveland

According to information published by the US DoD on April 14, 2023, the Navy has christened and launched the newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Cleveland (LCS 31), during a ceremony in Marinette, Wisconsin.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Cleveland. (Picture source: Fincantieri Marinette Marine)

Cleveland is the 16th and final Freedom-variant LCS and the fourth ship to be named in honor of the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Previous USS Cleveland's were the World War I cruiser (C 19), the World War II light cruiser (CL 55), and the Vietnam-era amphibious transport dock (LPD 7), decommissioned in 2011.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class are fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored surface combatants that operate in near-shore and open-ocean environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats.

LCSs integrate with joint, combined, manned, and unmanned teams to support forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.

The LCS class consists of two variants, Freedom and Independence, designed and built by two separate industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1). She is a steel monohull design constructed by Lockheed Martin in the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corporation's shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.

The ship has a displacement of 3,500 metric tons (3,900 short tons) at full load, a length of 378 ft (115 m), a beam of 57.4 ft (17.5 m), and a draft of 12.8 ft (3.9 m).

The LCS is powered by 2 Rolls-Royce MT30 36 MW (48,000 hp) gas turbines and 2 Colt-Pielstick 16PA6B 6.8 MW (9,100 hp) diesel engines, with 4 Rolls-Royce/Kamewa 153SII/153BII waterjets providing propulsion.

She has a top speed of 47 knots (87 km/h; 54 mph) in sea state 3 and a range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) with an endurance of 21 days (336 hours).

The vessel carries 11 m (36 ft) rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) and 12 m (39 ft) high-speed boats. She has a complement of 50 core crew members and 65 with mission crew (Blue and Gold crews).