Tag Archives: Austal USA

Acceptance Trials

The future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13), the U.S. Navy’s 13th Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport successfully completed Acceptance Trials and Unmanned Logistics Prototype Trials.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13)
The future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) Achieves Milestones with Acceptance Trials and Completion of Unmanned Logistics Prototype Trials

Acceptance Trials consists of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the U.S. Navy and the shipbuilder, Austal USA, to assess the ship’s systems and readiness prior to delivery to the Navy.

«The completion of this milestone is another win for our Navy and industry partners and a testament to the hard work of our shipbuilding team», said Tim Roberts, program manager, Strategic & Theater Sealift, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) will enhance the operational flexibility needed by our Sailors».

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) also completed Unmanned Logistics Prototype trials assessing autonomous capabilities integrated into the shipboard configuration, demonstrating that a large ship can become a self-driving platform.

In transit from Mobile, Alabama, to Miami, Florida, Apalachicola’s autonomous system completed a stress test in high-traffic coastal areas by taking appropriate ship handling actions while operating around other ships, boats, sailboats, and craft. Overall, the ship was in autonomous mode for approximately 85 percent of the multiple day at-sea period.

The unprecedented development of autonomous capability on Apalachicola is the culmination of collaborative efforts with the Navy’s shipbuilding and industry partners, Austal USA, L3 Harris and General Dynamics.

«The ability to expand unmanned concepts into the existing fleet was validated by these trials», said Roberts. «The capabilities integrated onto EPF 13 set the groundwork for future autonomous operations».

EPFs are shallow draft, commercial-based, catamaran designed for rapid, intra-theater transport of personnel and equipment. The EPF’s high speed, shallow draft, and ability to load/unload in austere ports enables maneuver force agility in achieving positional advantage over intermediate distances without reliance on shore-based infrastructure.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy later this year.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

Autonomous capabilities

The future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) is performing a series of planned test events assessing autonomous capabilities integrated into the shipboard configuration, demonstrating that a large ship can become a self-driving platform.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13)
The future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) performed a series of planned test events – known as Unmanned Logistics Prototype trials – assessing autonomous capabilities integrated into the shipboard configuration, demonstrating that a large ship can become a self-driving platform, July 14

Known as Unmanned Logistics Prototype trials, each test event increases the perception capabilities and complexity of behaviors demonstrated by the autonomous systems. Test evolutions to date include point-to-point autonomous navigation, vessel handling and transfer of vessel control between manned to unmanned modes.

«The autonomous capabilities being demonstrated by this prototype system represent a major technological advancement for the EPF platform, the U.S. Navy at large and our industry partners. EPF-13 will be the first fully operational U.S. naval ship to possess autonomous capability including the ability to operate autonomously in a commercial vessel traffic lane», said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «This testing is a game changer and highlights that there is potential to expand unmanned concepts into existing fleet assets».

Collaboration for the test events include team members from PEO Ships, PEO Unmanned and Small Combatants, Naval Systems Engineering and Logistics Directorate – Surface Ship Design and System Engineering, Supervisor of Shipbuilding – Gulf Coast, Naval Surface Warfare Center support from Carderock, Combatant Craft Division, Dahlgren and Philadelphia and the Navy’s shipbuilding and industry partners, Austal USA, L3 Harris and General Dynamics.

Future test events will add levels of difficulty and include night navigation, and differing weather and sea states. These trials will set crucial groundwork for autonomous vessel operations, to include vessel encounter and avoidance maneuvering and compliance with International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

EPFs are shallow draft, commercial-based, catamaran designed for rapid, intra-theater transport of personnel and equipment. The EPF’s high speed, shallow draft, and ability to load/unload in austere ports enables maneuver force agility in achieving positional advantage over intermediate distances without reliance on shore-based infrastructure.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) is scheduled to deliver to the U.S. Navy later this year.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

Ocean-going tug

Construction began on the Navy’s newest towing, salvage and rescue ship, T-ATS-11 at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard, July 11.

T-ATS-11
Start of Construction Marked for T-ATS-11

The Navajo-class (T-ATS) provides ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support fleet operations. T-ATS replaces and fulfills the capabilities that were previously provided by the Fleet Ocean Tug (T-ATF-166) and Rescue and Salvage Ships (T-ARS-50) class ships.

«It’s always a great Navy day when we start construction of a new ship to be used to do the Nation’s bidding», said Rear Admiral Tom Anderson, Program Executive Officer, Ships. «It’s an exceptional Navy day when the start of construction also marks the expansion of the shipbuilding industrial base, as it does today, as Austal puts its new facility to work building its very first steel ship, a Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship, T-ATS-11».

Navajo-class ships will be Multi Mission Common Hull Platforms based on commercial offshore Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels. T-ATS supports current missions including, but not limited to: towing, salvage, rescue, oil spill response, humanitarian assistance and wide area search and surveillance. They also enable future rapid capability initiatives, supporting modular payloads with hotel services and appropriate interfaces.

T-ATS-11 marks the first steel ship in Austal’s ship construction program. Austal is also contracted to build T-ATS-12, with options for additional ships.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

Offshore Patrol Cutters

Austal Limited is pleased to announce Austal USA has been awarded a contract with a potential value of US$3.3 billion (A$4.35 billion), for the detail design and construction of up to 11 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC) for the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

USCGC Argus (WMSM-915)
Austal USA will build up to 11 × 110 metre/36 × 361 feet Offshore Patrol Cutters for the United States Coast Guard (Image: US Coast Guard)

The first vessel has been contracted by the U.S. Coast Guard, with options for a further 10 vessels.

Construction is expected to commence in 2023.

Construction of the 110-metre/361-foot OPC’s will take place at Austal USA’s new US$100 million steel shipbuilding facility in Mobile, Alabama.

Although the OPC contract has been awarded in FY2023, the contract award will positively impact some cost assumptions used to calculate Austal’s FY2022 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). Therefore, Austal expects its FY2022 EBIT will be higher than the previously forecast $107 million. The Company is not yet in a position to quantify the extent of the EBIT uplift and will inform shareholders as soon as the higher EBIT is calculated.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the new contract was the third steel shipbuilding program awarded to Austal USA and acknowledged the expanded capability of the shipyard.

«The United States Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutters are an outstanding opportunity for Austal USA to further demonstrate the shipyard’s new steel shipbuilding capability; based on years of proven construction experience through the delivery of the LCS and EPF programs for the United States Navy», Mr. Gregg said. «The Offshore Patrol Cutters are a critical capability in the United States’ homeland security and the Coast Guard’s most important acquisition program, and the Austal USA team is very excited and proud to be delivering this major shipbuilding program for the USA».

Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said: «This contract award is the result of our continued investment in our people and our facilities. We are thrilled for the opportunities this will bring to our local community and our tremendous supplier base, as this program will provide our shipbuilding team the stability for continued growth».

The Coast Guard’s 110 metre/361 feet steel OPCs provide a capability bridge between the service’s National Security Cutters, that operate in the open ocean, and the smaller, Fast Response Cutters that operate closer to shore. The new OPCs are capable of conducting a variety of missions including law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, and search and rescue operations.

With a range of 10,200 nautical miles/11,738 miles/18,890 km at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h and a 60-day endurance period, each OPC will be capable of deploying independently, or as part of task groups, and serving as a mobile command and control platform for surge operations such as hurricane response, mass migration incidents and other emergency events. The Cutters will also support Arctic objectives by helping regulate and protect emerging commerce and energy exploration in Alaska.

Austal USA will construct the OPC using its proven ship manufacturing processes and innovative methods that incorporate lean manufacturing principles, modular construction, and moving assembly lines in the company’s new state-of-the-art enclosed steel production facility.

With the award of the OPC, Austal USA is executing a myriad of shipbuilding programs for the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard; with construction continuing on the aluminum Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF) programs and the steel hulled Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue (T-ATS) ships and Auxiliary Floating Drydock Medium under contract for the United States Navy.

This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Paddy Gregg, Austal Limited’s Chief Executive Officer.

Augusta

On May 23rd, Austal USA successfully launched the 17th Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Augusta (LCS-34). Assisted by tugs, the ship was escorted out of Austal USA’s floating dry dock and secured pier side on the waterfront for machinery commissioning and system activation in preparation for sea trials later this year.

USS Augusta (LCS-34)
Austal USA launches the future USS Augusta (LCS-34)

The launch of Augusta was a multi-step process which involved lifting the 2,500-metric-ton ship almost three feet in the air, moving it approximately 400 feet/122 m onto a moored deck barge adjacent to the assembly bay – using transporters – then transferring the LCS from the deck barge to a floating dry dock. The floating dry dock was submerged with LCS-34 entering the water for the first time.

«We’re proud to announce another successful milestone achievement for the LCS program at Austal USA», stated Austal USA Vice President of New Construction, Dave Growden. «Austal USA’s team of talented shipbuilders are excited to have another LCS in the water and are looking forward to delivering her to the Navy so she can join her sister ships in the Pacific fleet».

The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

With capabilities focused on defeating global challenges in the littorals, these surface combatants are designed to provide joint force access in the littorals. LCS can operate independently or in high-threat environments as part of a networked battle force that includes multi-mission surface combatants.

Augusta is the 17th of 19 Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships that Austal USA is building for the U.S. Navy. Four LCS are under various stages of construction. Austal USA is also constructing four Expeditionary Fast Transport ships for the U.S. Navy and will begin construction on Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships this summer.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
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)
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

 

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 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 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 04-17-2021 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020 05-22-2021 San Diego, California
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018 09-08-2020 02-05-2022 San Diego, California
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020 03-30-2021
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) 10-27-2020 11-12-2021
USS Augusta (LCS-34) 07-30-2021 05-23-2022
USS Kingsville (LCS-36) 02-23-2022
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Keel Laying

Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, celebrated the keel laying of the future USS Kingsville (LCS-36) at our ship manufacturing facility on February 23, 2022. Kingsville is an Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), one of 18 that the U.S. Navy has contracted Austal to build. The ship is the first U.S. Navy ship named for the city of Kingsville in Texas.

USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
Austal USA hosts keel laying ceremony for future USS Kingsville (LCS-36)

A keel laying ceremony is the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. At Austal USA, the keel laying symbolically recognizes module erection in final assembly and the ceremonial beginning of a ship.

The ship’s sponsor is Katherine Kline, a member of the sixth generation of the King Ranch family, decedents of Captain Richard King who founded the King Ranch located in Kingsville, Texas, in 1853. The Naval Air Station Kingsville, located three miles from Kingsville was founded in 1942 and continues a special relationship with the King Ranch.

As the keel authenticator today, Kline welded her initials onto an aluminum keel plate with the assistance of Austal USA A-class welder, Mr. Joseph Bennett, Jr.

Savannah

The U.S. Navy commissioned the future USS Savannah (LCS-28) as the newest Independence variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) during a 10:00 a.m. EST ceremony Saturday, February 5, in Brunswick, Georgia.

USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Savannah (LCS-28) commissioning

Remarks were provided by the Honorable Earl L. «Buddy» Carter, U. S. Representative, Georgia’s First District; the Honorable Meredith Berger, Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary of the Navy; Vice Admiral Carl Chebi, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command; the Honorable Van Johnson, Mayor of Savannah; the Honorable Cosby Johnson, Mayor of Brunswick; and Larry Ryder, Vice President of Business Development and External Affairs, Austal USA.

The ship’s sponsor is Mrs. Dianne Davison Isakson, wife of the late Honorable Johnny Isakson, former Senator from Georgia. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Isakson, along with the Matron of Honor, her daughter Julie Isakson Mitchell, gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life».

«The city of Savannah, Georgia, has played an important role in our nation’s naval history», said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. «I have no doubt the Sailors of USS Savannah (LCS-28) will carry on the fighting spirit of this city and will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom».

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom and the Independence, designed and built by two industry teams. Lockheed Martin leads the Freedom variant team, or odd-numbered hulls, constructed in Marinette, Wisconsin. Austal USA leads the Independence variant team in Mobile, Alabama for LCS-2 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls.

Savannah is the 14th Independence variant LCS and the sixth ship to bear its name. LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The platform is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

USS Savannah (LCS-28) will homeport at Naval Base San Diego, California.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
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)
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

 

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 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 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 04-17-2021 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020 05-22-2021 San Diego, California
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018 09-08-2020 02-05-2022 San Diego, California
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020 03-30-2021
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) 10-27-2020
USS Augusta (LCS-34) 07-30-2021
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

EPF Flight II

The keel for the future USNS Cody, Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship (EPF-14), the first of the Spearhead-class EPF Flight II configuration, was laid at Austal USA, January 26.

USNS Cody (T-EPF-14)
Keel authenticated for the future USNS Cody (T-EPF-14)

A keel laying is the recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is the joining together of a ship’s modular components and the authentication or etching of an honoree’s initials into a ceremonial keel plate.

«The new capabilities of this variant of EPFs fulfills a critical need for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps», said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Ships. «Ensuring that the fleet has fast access to the right medical care increases both the safety and readiness of our Sailors and Marines».

EPFs are operated by the Military Sealift Command and the USNS Cody (T-EPF-14) is the first ship in naval service named after Cody, Wyoming.

Beginning with EPF-14, the Flight II configuration will enhance current EPF capabilities by including a combined forward resuscitative care capability with a limited Intensive Care Unit and medical ward, while maintaining most of the original requirements of the ship. Flight II EPFs will be able to stabilize postsurgical cases for evacuation without the requirement to first route them through a higher facility.

EPF ships provide high speed, shallow draft transportation capabilities to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies and equipment for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The design of the EPF allows flexibility to support the fleet in maintaining a variety of roles, including humanitarian assistance, maritime security, disaster relief and more.

Austal USA is also in construction on the future USNS Point Loma (EPF-15) with production efforts commencing earlier this month.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.

15th Independence-class

Austal Limited is pleased to announce Austal USA has delivered the future USS Canberra (LCS-30) to the United States Navy.

USS Canberra (LCS-30)
The future USS Canberra (LCS-30) is the 15th Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship constructed by Austal USA (image: Austal USA)

The Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is the second LCS Austal USA has delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2021.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the latest LCS delivery was of great interest and significance as the vessel was named after Australia’s national capital, Canberra and was sponsored by Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator the Honourable Marise Payne.

«We were honoured to have Senator Marise Payne lay the keel for the future USS Canberra in March 2020, and now we’re very pleased to be delivering the completed vessel to the Navy, on time and on budget», Mr. Gregg said. «Canberra is the 15th Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship that Austal USA has delivered to the U.S. Navy, since 2010; an outstanding track record for a multi-billion-dollar program, comprising 19 ships in total. Add on the twelve Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessels that Austal USA has also delivered, during roughly the same timeframe, and you get a clear picture that our Mobile, Alabama shipyard is an incredibly efficient, value-adding asset within the United States’ defence industrial base».

Four more LCS are currently under construction at Austal USA, including the recently launched future USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) and future USS Augusta (LCS-34). Modules are under construction on the future USS Kingsville (LCS-36) and the future USS Pierre (LCS-38). Two Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF’s 13 and 14) are also under construction at the shipyard.

In October 2021, Austal USA was awarded a contract for the detailed design and construction of two U.S. Navy Towing, Salvage, and Rescue (T-ATS) ships, the first contract for Austal’s new steel construction facility. Austal has recently been awarded several post-delivery service-related contracts for the LCS program including Sustainment Execution Contracts (SEC) for both classes of LCS, on the east and west coasts of the United States, and a further contract to support LCS deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Further, Austal USA recently announced the company had completed the purchase of a lease on waterfront property to establish a permanent ship repair facility in the Port of San Diego – a 6-hectare site enabling ship repairs and maintenance on U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command ships. The facilities will include a new dry dock, designed specifically to service small surface combatants and other small to medium size ships.

This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Patrick Gregg, Austal Limited’s Chief Executive Officer.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
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)
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

 

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 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 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 04-17-2021 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020 05-22-2021 San Diego, California
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018 09-08-2020
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020 03-30-2021
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) 10-27-2020
USS Augusta (LCS-34) 07-30-2021
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Santa Barbara

The U.S. Navy christened its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, October 16 in Mobile, Alabama.

USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
Navy Christened Littoral Combat Ship Santa Barbara

The Honorable Meredith Berger, performing the duties of Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. Remarks were also be provided by Vice Admiral Jeffrey Trussler, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare; the Honorable Oscar Gutierrez, Mayor Pro Tempore for the city of Santa Barbara, California.; and Mr. Rusty Murdaugh, President of Austal, USA.

Lolita Zinke, wife of former Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke and the ship’s sponsor, participated in a time-honored Navy tradition to christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«We christen the third USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32), named for the beautiful coastal city in central California», Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro said. «In so doing we move one step closer to welcoming a new ship to Naval service and transitioning the platform from a mere hull number to a ship with a name and spirit. There is no doubt future Sailors aboard this ship will carry on the same values of honor, courage and commitment upheld by crews from an earlier vessel that bore this name».

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The platform is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom and the Independence, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) is the 16th Freedom-variant LCS and 32nd in the LCS class. It is the third U.S. Navy ship named in honor of the city of Santa Barbara. The first USS Santa Barbara (Id. No. 4522) was a single-screw steel freighter that was placed into commission by the Navy on April 15, 1918, in New York. The ship made four round-trip voyages to Europe during and after World War I and was decommissioned on August 6, 1919, and returned to her owners. Later renamed American, the ship was sunk by German submarine torpedoes off the east coast of British Honduras (modern-day Belize) on June 11, 1942. The second USS Santa Barbara (AE-28) was commissioned on July 11, 1970. The Kilauea-class ammunition ship completed deployments to the Mediterranean, the western Pacific, and the Caribbean before being decommissioned in 1998.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
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)
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

 

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 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 02-16-2019 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017 03-02-2019 San Diego, California
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018 10-05-2019 San Diego, California
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017 10-19-2018 06-20-2020 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 04-17-2021 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020 05-22-2021 San Diego, California
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018 09-08-2020
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020 03-30-2021
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) 10-27-2020
USS Augusta (LCS-34) 07-30-2021
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)