Austal USA delivers Independence-variant LCS 10 to Navy

Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., delivered the fifth Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), to the U.S. Navy on Dec. 23 at an official document signing ceremony held aboard the ship. The delivery was made exactly six months from the date LCS 8 (Montgomery) was handed over,

This official delivery marks the third LCS built by Austal as the prime contractor. “It’s exciting to be handing over another littoral combat ship to the Navy,” Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle, said in a statement announcing the delivery. “This is the fourth Navy ship we’ve delivered this year, a sure sign of the steady maturation and momentum of both our Expeditionary Fast Transport and Littoral Combat Ship programs.”

The 417’x99′ aluminum trimaran LCS is intended to operate in coastal areas and designed to be a fast and highly maneuverable combat ship. Each aluminum LCS is powered by twin MTU 20V8000 diesel engines and two GE LM2500 gas turbines.

The Austal USA-built LCS has the following three mission module packages:
• Mine Warfare Module — Transforms the ships mission by embarking a self-contained package of 15 crewmembers, sensors and weapons to hunt, identify, localize and neutralize mines. It is designed to work with a composite aviation detachment to suit the mission requirements.
• Anti-Submarine Warfare Module — Transforms the ships mission by embarking a self-contained package of 15 crewmembers, sensors and weapons to detect, track and neutralize quiet diesel-electric submarines operating in shallow water. It is designed to work with a composite aviation detachment to suit the mission requirements.
• Surface Warfare Module — Transforms the ships mission by embarking a self-contained package of 12 crewmembers, sensors and weapons to search, detect, localize and engage small boats. It is designed to work with a composite aviation detachment to suit the mission requirements.
Weapons include a 32-missile vertical launch system, a 57-mm forward gun, eight Harpoon missiles, two close-in weapons system, and six ASW torpedoes.

Six Independence-variant LCSes remain under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. Omaha (LCS 12) and Manchester (LCS 14) are preparing for sea trials. Assembly is underway on Tulsa (LCS 16) and Charleston (LCS 18) and modules for Cincinnati (LCS 20) and Kansas City (LCS 22) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility.

“The success of this milestone achievement is a result of the hard work and dedication of Austal’s world-class shipbuilding team,” said Perciavalle. “The men and women of Austal are some of the most talented I’ve ever worked with, and I’m looking forward to sharing many future successes with them and the thousands of suppliers across America supporting this program.”

More than 900 suppliers in 41 states contribute to the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship program, shipyard officials said. This supplier base supports tens of thousands of small business to large business jobs.

About the author

Ken Hocke

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I don’t understand why you have both Diesel engines and gas turbines. It seems like it would be
    better to have both diesel engines and diesel turbines . One fuel on board the ship.

    • Avatar

      We had both on our USCG High Endurance Hamilton Class Cutters. All of our day to day work was on the diesel engines and when we had to get up and go we would use the gas turbine engine.
      We would have to carry the JP5 fuel for the Helo that we had embarked and also use it for the Gas Turbine Engine.

  2. Avatar
    Wade Colclough on

    They are great looking ships – both variants. Now if only they would operate and be capable of completing missions without breaking down. I have a bad feeling that we are throwing a lot of money away on these vessels. If they break down in a combat situation many young Americans will die. Does anyone remember how aluminum burns?

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