Austal USA delivered the future USS Savannah, the 14th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), to the U.S. Navy on June 25.
The 421'x103.7' Savannah (LCS 28) is the seventh ship Austal has delivered to the Navy in less than two years.
LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
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.
“Delivering yet another quality ship on time and on budget demonstrates the important role Austal USA plays in the shipbuilding industrial base and value of Austal USA’s highly skilled workforce. Delivering two major ship programs on schedule and on budget is something our team is incredibly proud of,” Austal USA Interim President Rusty Murdaugh said in a prepared statement. “It has been especially rewarding to hear the very positive feedback from the Navy commanders and sailors on how well these ships are performing operationally, especially in the in the South China Sea where they are conducting routine patrols.”
Austal has reduced overall time of construction from ship to ship. LCS 28 was completed in just under three years, a full 12-month improvement over earlier ships in the program.
Five LCS and two expeditionary fast transports (EPF) are currently under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. Two additional ships, LCS 38 and EPF 15, are under contract and will soon be under construction. In addition, Austal USA was recently awarded a design contract for the Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) that would be manufactured using Austal USA’s new steel construction serial production line.