Combat ship will be named after city

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Graphic provided by the U.S. Navy This graphic illustration shows the future Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Beloit. The new ship was announced Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and recognizes a partnership between Fairbanks Morse in Beloit and the U.S. Navy since 1938.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The City of Beloit will be honored with the naming of a new U.S. Navy combat ship, according to the office of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

The USS Beloit will be named after the city for its contributions to the Navy and advancements in U.S. national security with the ongoing work at Fairbanks Morse, a company that's worked with the navy since 1938.

The USS Beloit will be built at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. The ship will be 378 feet long and have a beam length of 57.4 feet and travel in excess of 40 knots, according to a U.S. Navy news release. The ship will be capable of handling surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine counter measures.

"The City of Beloit has a proud history of supporting the Navy and the U.S. military. Citizens of Beloit have selflessly served in our Armed Forces, and companies like Fairbanks Morse that call the city home - and boast patriotic workforces that are second to none - have ensured for generations that our service members can safely and successfully complete their missions," Baldwin said. "So I was thrilled to champion this effort to recognize Beloit's support of the U.S. Navy and our national defense. The naming of a Navy ship is a significant honor steeped in tradition, and I want to thank Secretary Spencer for working with me on this exciting decision."

The USS Beloit will be the newest littoral combat ship in the navy's Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ship. The Freedom class is one of the two naval classes, and looks to act as a fleet of multipurpose warships that operate in the littoral zone, or the areas near coastlines.

The city, Fairbanks Morse and the U.S. Navy have worked closely together since its first engine sale to the Navy during World War Two. During the war, the community played a significant role in the war effort through the founding of the Council of Defense, which organized fundraising, scrap metal drives, civilian defense initiatives in case of blackouts and air raids, and the training of blackout workers and volunteers.

"Fairbanks Morse has over 125 years of history in Beloit and shares a very special relationship with the United States Navy, so we are extremely proud that LCS 29 will be officially named the USS Beloit to pay tribute to our long and significant association with the U.S. Navy beginning with World War Two," said Fairbanks Morse president Deepak Navnith.

Faribanks Morse manufactures a large percentage of the U.S. Navy's large medium-speed diesel engines and was named Supplier of the Year in 2015.

"The City of Beloit is greatly honored by the U.S. Navy's recognition of this region's long-standing commitment to supporting the military," said City Manager Lori Curtis Luther. "We take great pride in the men and women of our community who have dedicated themselves to our nation's security, whether it is through military service or behind-the-scenes work at companies like Fairbanks Morse. Fairbanks Morse has a significant history of contributing to the Navy, including when it put its locomotive business on hold to manufacture 1,650 engines in support of the nation's World War II efforts. This recognition of Fairbanks Morse's patriotism is well deserved."

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