Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., launched the future Canberra (LCS 30) into the Mobile River on March 30. This is the first Navy ship that Austal has launched in 2021 and the first one to launch from Austal's recently acquired drydock. Canberra is an Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), one of 19 that the Navy has contracted Austal to build. The next step is sea trials and then delivery.
The 421'6"x103.7' Independence-variant LCS is the most recent step in the small surface combatant evolution. A high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant, the LCS is designed to conduct surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral near-shore region, while also possessing the capability for deepwater operations. With its open-architecture design, the LCS can support modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles
Each aluminum trimaran LCS has a displacement of 3,200 MT, a 15.1' draft and is powered by a pair of 12,200-hp MTU 20V8000 diesel engines and two 29,500-hp GE LM2500 gas turbines.
In September of 2020, Austal USA completed the purchase of waterfront land, buildings, and an existing drydock along the Mobile River previously owned by World Marine of Alabama, an indirect subsidiary of Modern American Recycling and Repair Services of Alabama (M.A.R.R.S.). The purchase enhances the company’s new construction and service business lines.
The purchase includes the 20,000-ton Pete B Panamax-class floating drydock, 100,000 sq. ft. of covered repair facilities, and 15 acres of waterfront property along the Mobile River and Gulf of Mexico. The move places Austal USA adjacent to M.A.R.R.S. and enables better collaboration with the company on its core recycling efforts.
The acquisition further increases Austal USA’s growing steel and aluminum business portfolio that includes U.S. Navy multi-ship contracts for the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), research and development on unmanned and autonomous surface vessels, and an expanding global services business in San Diego and Singapore.