Navy's new USS Minneapolis-St. Paul launches Saturday

The bottle-breaking will officially set the ship on her way in Marinette, Wisconsin.
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The second ship to bear the name Minneapolis-St. Paul will, somewhat ironically, start her life in Wisconsin on Saturday.

U.S.S. Minneapolis-St. Paul, a Freedom-class combat ship meant for service in shallower waters near coastlines, will be christened and launched from the Marinette, Wisconsin shipyard where she was built.

The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m., with U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum — who represents Minnesota's 5th District — delivering the "principal address," and Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy Jodi Greene handling the ceremonial breaking of a champagne battle against the ships's hull. 

Per custom, this will initiate the launch of the ship, where it slips out of its berth sideways and hits the water for the first time (you can read more about this tradition right here). 

This always makes for a thrilling (and somewhat frightening) sight. This video of another Freedom-class ship launching from the same shipyard will give you an idea of how that'll look for U.S.S. Minneapolis-St. Paul:

Minneapolis-St. Paul has picked up the nickname "The Mighty MSP," which is its handle on Facebook. 

As a member of the Freedom class, she'll be a "fast, agile, focused-mission platform" that can defeat threats "such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft," the Department of Defense (DOD) says. 

She's the 21st ship in the class, and will be homeported in Mayport, Florida, according to the DOD.

The last ship to carry the Minneapolis-St. Paul name was a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine that left service in 2008. 

Despite Saturday's ceremony, the new Minneapolis-St. Paul has a ways to go before it enters active service.

As Kare 11 notes, there's still some construction to be done on the ship, and it won't be officially turned over to the Navy until next year, when it completes trials on Lake Michigan. 

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