Christening of
Manchester

According to Shawne K. Wickham, New Hampshire Sunday News’s correspondent, the U.S. Navy’s new combat ship USS Manchester (LCS-14) was christened on April 07 at the Alabama shipyard where she was built. New Hampshire’s senior senator, Jeanne Shaheen, did the honors, smashing a bottle of champagne against the ship, named in honor of her state’s largest city.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat Party-New Hampshire, christens the Navy combat ship USS Manchester on May 07 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat Party-New Hampshire, christens the Navy combat ship USS Manchester on May 07 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama

Shaheen is the ship’s sponsor, which she called both an honor and a «solemn responsibility». «For the United States of America, I christen thee Manchester», said Shaheen, whose family was in attendance. «May God bless this ship and all who sail in it». Shaheen was sporting protective safety goggles and gloves but that didn’t protect her fuchsia blazer and black skirt from getting drenched with champagne as the bottle shattered.

The ship’s horn sounded and a band struck up «Anchors Aweigh» as Shaheen exchanged hugs with Navy Commander Emily Bassett, who will command the Manchester. Bassett had visited Manchester last weekend to get a first-hand look at the city for which her ship is named. Shaheen also took a moment in her remarks to lobby for holding the official commissioning ceremony for the USS Manchester (LCS-14) in Portsmouth.

The Manchester was built by Austal USA at its Mobile, Alabama, shipyard. Components and critical systems for the 417-foot/127.1-meter littoral combat ship were made by Manchester-based Granite State Manufacturing. Company executives Glenn Lawton and Doug Thomson were on hand for the christening ceremony.

The new Independence-class ship will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads called mission modules, which can be changed quickly. The modules, combined with crew detachments and aviation assets, will be used to deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions, according to the U.S. Navy.

This is actually the second USS Manchester. The first was a light cruiser that served three combat tours during the Korean War and earned nine battle stars before it was decommissioned in 1956. During her recent visit to Manchester, Commander Bassett explained that the new Manchester’s «trimaran» hull is designed to minimize the amount of water displaced. That allows the ship to go faster and reach waters only smaller vessels could have navigated in the past.

The new ship will not be fully named the USS Manchester (LCS-14) until it is officially commissioned in the fall.

Shaheen, the new ship’s sponsor, also took the opportunity to lobby for the ship to be commissioned in Portsmouth later this year
Shaheen, the new ship’s sponsor, also took the opportunity to lobby for the ship to be commissioned in Portsmouth later this year

 

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
Thomas Oppel, chief of staff to the secretary of the Navy, served as the principal speaker. New Hampshire Senator, the Honorable Jeanne Shaheen, served as the ship’s sponsor
Thomas Oppel, chief of staff to the secretary of the Navy, served as the principal speaker. New Hampshire Senator, the Honorable Jeanne Shaheen, served as the ship’s sponsor

 

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 Independence variant team is led by Austal USA
The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA

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