LCS hits tug during launch at Fincantieri shipyard

(MARINETTE, Wis.) — The littoral combat ship (LCS) Cleveland struck a supporting tugboat as the newbuild was being launched Saturday at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard, officials said.

No one was injured, but the impact caused “limited damage” to the Freedom-class ship, the U.S. Navy said. A Pentagon news release before Saturday’s event stated that the “side launch” would be the last at the Wisconsin yard, with subsequent launches using a ship-lift system.

“The damaged area is well above the waterline and no flooding occurred,” said Jamie Koehler, a Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman. “An assessment was completed and permanent repairs are being planned. Root cause of the incident is currently under investigation by the Navy and shipbuilder.”

Click here to watch a video of Saturday’s launch.

Screenshot from YouTube video
By Rich Miller