Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., has delivered its 10th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to the U.S. Navy. The future Cincinnati (LCS 20) will be the 18th LCS to enter the fleet. (Normally, Navy vessels are not as far along as commercial vessels upon delivery.)
The Independence-variant littoral combat ship is a 421’6″x103.7′ high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant. With its open architecture design, the LCS can support modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to capture and sustain littoral maritime supremacy. Each aluminum LCS is powered by twin 12,200-hp MTU 20V8000 diesel engines and two 29,500-hp GE LM2500 gas turbines
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to support current and future mission capability from deepwater to the littorals.
“It’s so exciting to deliver another great warship to the U.S. Navy,” Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said in a statement announcing the delivery. “I’m so proud of our incredible team here at Austal USA, our industry and Navy partners for achieving this major milestone for the future USS Cincinnati.”
More than 700 suppliers in 40 states contribute to the Independence-variant LCS program. The supplier base supports tens of thousands of small business to large business jobs.
“With two of our small surface combatants deploying again this year, I’m looking forward to hearing more great things about our ships while they are out in the Pacific Fleet protecting our Nation’s interests,” Perciavalle said.
Five small surface combatants are presently under various stages of construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. The future Kansas City (LCS 22) is preparing for sea trials. Assembly is underway on the future Oakland (LCS 24) and the future Mobile (LCS 26), and modules are under construction for the future Savannah (LCS 28) and the future Canberra (LCS 30), with four more under contract through LCS 38.
Austal is also under contract to build 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) for the U.S. Navy. The company has delivered 10 EPFs while an additional two are in various stages of construction.
Meanwhile, Austal USA recently hosted the christening of the future Oakland (LCS 24) on June 29. This is the first of three U.S. Navy ships to be christened at Austal’s state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility in 2019. Oakland is the 12th of 19 LCSes the shipyard has under contract with the U.S. Navy.
The ship’s sponsor, Kate Brandt, a recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award the U.S. Navy can give to a civilian, headlined the group of officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members, and Austal USA employees who attended the ceremony beneath the hull of the ship in Austal USA’s final assembly bay.