Austal USA christened the future Savannah (LCS 28) on Saturday at its advanced ship manufacturing facility. Savannah is the 14th of 19 littoral combat ships (LCS) Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy.

The ship’s sponsor, Dianne Isakson, is the daughter of a World War II naval aviator and sister to two brothers who both served in the Navy. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Isakson is married to the Honorable Johnny Isakson, former U.S. Senator from Georgia. Austal USA photo

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 deep-water operations. With its open-architecture design, the LCS can support modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles.

“Austal is honored to christen today what will be the sixth Navy ship named after the great city of Savannah,” shipyard president Craig Perciavalle said during the christening. “Savannah and Mobile have much in common both being major U.S. shipping ports, but we also share the distinction of being cities where the infamous World War II Liberty ships were built. These were the last Navy ships built in Mobile prior to the littoral combat ships we are building here now.

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 addition to being in full production for the LCS program, Austal USA is also the Navy’s prime contractor for the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) program. Austal has delivered 12 EPF, with a total of 14 under contract. Austal USA is also leading the evolution of connector and auxiliary ships as Austal EPF designs for dedicated medical, maintenance, logistics, and command and control ships evolve.

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.