The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Charleston (LCS-18) during a ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard August 31.
The delivery marks the official transfer of LCS-18 from the Austal USA-led shipbuilding team to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone before commissioning, which is yet to be finalized.
«Today marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Charleston (LCS-18), as transfer occurs to the Navy and she enters service», said Captain Mike Taylor, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program manager. «I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this fine ship alongside the crew later this year».
Charleston is the 16th LCS to be delivered to the Navy and the eighth of the Independence variant. The Independence variant is noted for its unique trimaran hull and its large flight deck.
«The crew has done a tremendous job getting the future USS Charleston (LCS-18) ready for commissioning, at which time our newest LCS will join the fleet», said Captain Matthew McGonigle, commander, LCS Squadron One (COMLCSRON ONE). «We are excited to see our newest LCS in San Diego soon and welcome the ship into the LCS community».
COMLCSRON ONE supports the operational commanders with warships ready for tasking by manning, training, equipping and maintaining littoral combat ships on the West Coast.
Following commissioning, Charleston will be homeported in San Diego with her sister ships USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), USS Coronado (LCS-4), USS Jackson (LCS-6), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), USS Omaha (LCS-12), USS Manchester (LCS-14) and the future USS Tulsa (LCS-16), which was delivered in April.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical theaters.
The Program Executive Office (PEO) for Unmanned and Small Combatants is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet.
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class
|Construction||Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy|
|Length overall||421 feet/128.3 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)|
|Main engines||2 × GE LM2500|
|2 × MTU 20V 8000|
|Waterjets||4 × Wartsila steerable|
|Bow thruster||Retractable azimuthing|
|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|
|Deck area||>21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2|
|Launch and recovery||Twin boom extending crane|
|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|
|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||09-10-2016||San Diego, California|
|USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10)||04-16-2014||02-25-2015||06-10-2017||San Diego, California|
|USS Omaha (LCS-12)||02-18-2015||11-20-2015||02-03-2018||San Diego, California|
|USS Manchester (LCS-14)||06-29-2015||05-12-2016||05-26-2018||San Diego, California|
|USS Tulsa (LCS-16)||01-11-2016||03-16-2017||San Diego, California|
|USS Charleston (LCS-18)||06-28-2016||09-14-2017|
|USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)||04-10-2017||05-22-2018|
|USS Kansas City (LCS-22)||11-15-2017|
|USS Oakland (LCS-24)||07-20-2018|
|USS Mobile (LCS-26)|
|USS Savannah (LCS-28)|
|USS Canberra (LCS-30)|