Austal USA has christened the 13th Independence Class littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), at a ceremony held at its state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.
Austal USA is contracted to design and construct 19 Independence Class LCS for the US Navy, and has delivered 10 ships to date, with sic currently at various stages of construction.
Chief executive David Singleton said the USS Mobile christening highlights Austal USA’s impressive capability and productivity, as the 20th ship to be christened at the shipyard in the past five years.
"As prime contractor, Austal USA is delivering two major programs for the US Navy, comprising a total of 33 ships, and it’s even more impressive when you consider Mobile is the 20th ship they have christened in just five years," Singleton said.
The future USS Mobile was officially christened by ship's sponsor Rebecca Byrne, president and CEO of The Community Foundation of South Alabama, and wife of Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne; and is named after the city of Mobile.
The 127-metre Independence Class LCS is the most recent step in the US Navy’s small surface combatant evolution.
Singleton added, "The Austal USA shipyard has achieved outstanding productivity and efficiencies on both the LCS and EPF programs, and this is reflected in the progress on Mobile, which has been christened within two years of starting construction."
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 to capture and sustain littoral maritime supremacy.
In addition to being in full-rate production for the LCS program, Austal USA is also the US Navy’s prime contractor for the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) program.
Austal has delivered 10 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.