Keel-laying for Tulsa

Austal hosted a keel-laying ceremony for the future USS Tulsa (LCS-16) at the Mobile, Alabama shipyard on January 11, marking the first significant milestone in the ship’s construction. This ship is the sixth Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) built at Austal under the 10-ship, $3.5 billion block buy contract awarded to Austal in 2010.

LCS-16 Keel Authentication
LCS-16 Keel Authentication

Ship sponsor Kathy Taylor, former Tulsa mayor and CEO of Impact Tulsa, authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto an aluminum plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship.

«It amazes me how fast this ship is coming together», Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said. «The speedy construction of this amazing ship is evidence of the rapid maturity of Austal’s LCS program, a testament to the extreme level of talent and experience displayed by Austal’s shipbuilding team».

Austal’s LCS program delivered USS Independence (LCS-2) in 2009, USS Coronado (LCS-4) in 2013, and USS Jackson (LCS-6) in 2015. Six additional LCS are under construction at the Mobile, Alabama shipyard. Montgomery (LCS-8) and Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) are preparing for builders trials later this year. Omaha (LCS-12) was christened December 19, and Manchester (LCS-14) will complete final assembly and prepare for launch later this year. Modules for Charleston (LCS-18) are under construction as well.

Austal is also building 10 Expeditionary Fast Transports (EPF) for the U.S. Navy under a $1.6 billion block-buy contract. USNS Trenton (EPF-5) marked the fifth vessel in this class to be delivered since the inception of the program. Both USNS Spearhead (EPF-1) and USNS Millinocket (EPF-3) are currently deployed supporting Naval fleet operations.

LCS delivers combat capability from core self-defense systems in concert with rapidly interchangeable, modular mission packages and an open architecture command and control system
LCS delivers combat capability from core self-defense systems in concert with rapidly interchangeable, modular mission packages and an open architecture command and control system

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 417 feet/127.1 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules
Modularity maximizes the flexibility of LCS and enables commanders to meet changing warfare needs, while also supporting faster, easier technological updates
Modularity maximizes the flexibility of LCS and enables commanders to meet changing warfare needs, while also supporting faster, easier technological updates

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014    
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015    
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015    
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015      
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016      
USS Charleston (LCS-18)        
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)        
USS Kansas City (LCS-22)        
USS Oakland (LCS-24)        

 

The ships are open ocean capable but are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespace
The ships are open ocean capable but are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespace

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