USS Milwaukee, Sister Ship of Upcoming USS Detroit, Makes Port Call in Detroit

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Detroiters today can get a glimpse of the U.S. Navy’s newest warship, the USS Milwaukee, as it makes an overnight stop in Detroit today before heading to her homeport in San Diego.

The USS Milwaukee is the sister ship of the USS Detroit, which is being built at the Marinette Shipyard in Wisconsin, and will be commissioned on Detroit’s waterfront either late summer or early next fall. 

Capt. John McCandless, a retired Naval officer and the local vice chair of the USS Detroit Commissioning Committee, says the USS Milwaukee is a littoral combat ship, designed to perform in shallow waters near shore.

“From the waterline down to the bottom of the ship is only 14 feet, whereas a normal destroyer would be about 30 feet,” McCandless says. 

McCandless says although the USS Milwaukee is in dock, the public will not be allowed aboard and can only view the ship from shore.

He says the USS Milwaukee and the USS Detroit are single hull ships, and resemble a destroyer. Both are fast warships that will escort larger vessels and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. McCandless says the ships, built by Lockheed Martin, use four large diesel engines and there are no propellers. 

“It can cruise at 15 knots just on the diesel engines,” McCandless says. “However, when it wants to go really fast, there are two large jet engines — turbines — that can speed it up well in excess of 40 knots — about 45 miles per hour.  A normal destroyer would be 30 knots.”

He says the ships are nearly 400 feet long with a flight deck for covert operations and drones. He says the both are highly automated ships, and have a basic crew of about 50 men and women.

Both the USS Milwaukee and the USS Detroit will be deployed in Singapore for a 15-month deployment, he says.

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