Austal USA delivered its fourth ship of 2020 to the U.S. Navy earlier this month — the future Mobile, the 13th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS). Mobile (LCS 26) is one of 16 ships Austal has delivered to the Navy over the last five years.
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.
“We’re especially excited for Mobile to join the fleet to pay tribute to a great community which has contributed to our success in so many ways over the years,” Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said in a statement announcing the achievement. “Our team continues to impress, working through difficult conditions to maintain cost and schedule — neither the pandemic nor hurricanes impacted our ability to deliver the future Mobile on cost and schedule — a testament to the incredible fortitude and work ethic of these amazing people from her namesake city.”
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 deepwater to the littorals.
“USS Gabrielle Giffords and USS Montgomery conducted successful deployments in the Pacific recently and we are looking forward to having the future USS Mobile join them soon,” Perciavalle continued. “The U.S. Navy fleet will keep benefitting from the value the Independence-variant littoral combat ships provide as more of them deploy from San Diego.”
Four LCSs are presently under various stages of construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. The future Savannah (LCS 28) is preparing for sea trials, assembly is underway on the future Canberra (LCS 30) and Santa Barbara (LCS 32), and modules for the future Augusta (LCS 34) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility. The future Kingsville (LCS 36) and Pierre (LCS 38) are under contract.
More than 563 suppliers in 37 states contribute to the Independence-variant LCS program.
Austal is also under contract to build 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) for the U.S. Navy. The company has delivered 12 EPFs while an additional two are in various stages of construction.