Tag Archives: Independence class

Acceptance Trials

The future USS Oakland (LCS-24) successfully concluded acceptance trials May 22 following a series of in-port and underway demonstrations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Future USS Oakland (LCS-24) completes successful Acceptance Trials

During trials, the final milestone prior to the ship’s delivery, the U.S. Navy conducts comprehensive tests of systems, including those essential to a ship’s performance at sea such as the main propulsion, auxiliaries and electrical systems.

The ship also performed critical capability tests, including a full-power demonstration, steering and quick reversal, anchor drop test and combat system detect-to-engage sequence.

«I am impressed with the positive results achieved by the Navy and industry team during this acceptance trial of the future USS Oakland», said Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program Manager Captain Mike Taylor. «We continue to see improvements in this class as we work to provide cost-effective warfighting capability to the fleet and the nation».

Following delivery and commissioning, USS Oakland (LCS-24) will sail to California to be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Independence (LCS-2), 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), USS Tulsa (LCS-16), USS Charleston (LCS-18), USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) and USS Kansas City (LCS-22).

Four additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The future USS Mobile (LCS-26) is undergoing final assembly. The modules for the future USS Savannah (LCS-28) and future USS Canberra (LCS-30) also are being erected, and modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) are being fabricated. Additionally, Austal USA is preparing for construction of the future USS Augusta (LCS-34), USS Kingsville (LCS-36) and USS Pierre (LCS-38).

LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable warship designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions. The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

LCS is now the second-largest U.S. Navy surface ship class in production. In 2019, three LCSs were delivered to the fleet and five will be delivered in 2020 at a pace not seen since the 1990s.

 

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 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018 01-11-2020
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018
USS Canberra (LCS-30) 03-10-2020
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

Kansas City

Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Austal USA has delivered its 11th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to the U.S. Navy at the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Austal USA has delivered LCS-22, the future USS Kansas City to the U.S. Navy (image: Austal USA)

The future USS Kansas City (LCS-22) is the first Independence-class LCS to be delivered by Austal USA in 2020.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the latest LCS delivery from Austal’s USA shipyard builds upon the company’s strong record in recent years.

«Austal USA’s delivery of the Independence-class LCS program continues to impress, with quality, cost and productivity improvements being achieved with each new vessel. We have now delivered 11 of the 19 Independence-class LCS currently contracted and it’s very pleasing to see more and more of these ships deployed around the world, adding great capability to the U.S. Navy», Mr. Singleton said.

Upgrades to the LCS program continue to take shape, both in production and post-delivery. Austal USA and General Dynamics Mission Systems teams recently integrated a new over-the-horizon missile system onto the USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) prior to her deployment. USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) and her sister ship, USS Montgomery (LCS-8), are currently deployed and meeting U.S. Navy operational requirements in South East Asia.

Five Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships (small surface combatants) are under various stages of construction at Austal USA including the future USS Oakland (LCS-24) and USS Mobile (LCS-26) that are preparing for sea trials. Assembly is underway on the future USS Savannah (LCS-28) and USS Canberra (LCS-30), and modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32) are under construction in Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF). Three more LCS are under contract and scheduled for production, through to the USS Pierre (LCS-38).

The Independence-class LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation.

The 421 feet/128.3 m trimaran is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The ship successfully integrates new technology and capability to support current and future U.S. Navy mission capability in any operating environment.

Austal USA is also under contract to build 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) for the U.S. Navy. The company has delivered 11 EPFs, while an additional two are in various stages of construction at the Mobile, Alabama shipyard.

 

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 San Diego, California
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018 07-21-2019 San Diego, California
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018
USS Savannah (LCS-28) 09-20-2018
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
USS Augusta (LCS-34)
USS Kingsville (LCS-36)
USS Pierre (LCS-38)

 

LMV Fearless

Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How officiated at the launching ceremony of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s eighth and final Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), RSS Fearless 22, at ST Engineering’s Benoi Shipyard. The LMV was launched by Mrs. Heng Soon Poh, wife of Mr. Heng.

Singapore Navy launches final Littoral Mission Vessel, RSS Fearless 22
Singapore Navy launches final Littoral Mission Vessel, RSS Fearless 22

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Heng highlighted the importance of a strong and capable RSN to safeguard Singapore’s sovereignty. He said, «The navy is every maritime nation’s first line of defence. A strong RSN is key to protecting our maritime sovereignty, and keeping our Sea Lines of Communication open. Singapore’s maritime agencies work together 24/7 to monitor threats. The RSN augments this by conducting patrols around the clock – tirelessly – to keep our waters safe and secure. We do this to protect Singapore, Singaporeans, and our Singaporean way of life».

On the launch of Fearless, Mr. Heng encouraged the crew to «live up to the fearless spirit of our founding fathers and continue to live out its legacy. As you embark on your next journey to defend our sovereignty, our security, and our economic prosperity, I am confident that you will overcome all challenges fearlessly, never flagging in adversity».

The launch of RSS Fearless 22 is a significant milestone in the RSN’s continued transformation to enable it to continue safeguarding the sovereignty and security of Singapore’s waters. The LMV programme is progressing well. Since 2017, five LMVs – RSS Independence 15, RSS Sovereignty 16, RSS Unity 17, RSS Justice 18 and RSS Indomitable 19 – have been commissioned. They have rapidly assumed and effectively executed operational duties, including the DPRK-US Singapore Summit and daily maritime security patrols, and have participated in exercises such as the ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise and Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise. LMVs Fortitude and Dauntless, launched in 2018, are undergoing sea trials and will be commissioned later this year. All eight LMVs will be fully operational by 2020.

Also present at the ceremony was Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong, as well as senior officers from the RSN and the Defence Science and Technology Agency.

Acceptance trials

On August 1, 2018 Austal celebrated its ninth Independence Class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) which completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. The USS Charleston (LCS-18) will be the third LCS Austal has delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2018.

Littoral Combat Ship USS Charleston (LCS-18) during launch at Austal USA's Mobile, Alabama shipyard in September 2017. LCS-16 (Tulsa) alongside (Image: Austal)
Littoral Combat Ship USS Charleston (LCS-18) during launch at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard in September 2017. LCS-16 (Tulsa) alongside (Image: Austal)

The completion of acceptance trials is the last major milestone required by the U.S. Navy before the ship is delivered and commissioned into service. The trial involves the execution of intensive and comprehensive tests by the Austal-led industry team to demonstrate to the U.S. Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment.

«Austal USA delivered USS Manchester (LCS-14) to the U.S. Navy at the end of February, USS Tulsa (LCS-16) at the end of April and will deliver USS Charleston (LCS-18) in the next couple of months. Moving these ships out to the fleet in such rapid succession is a huge accomplishment for our Mobile team and a testament to the supply chain supporting the LCS Program», CEO David Singleton said.

«Of the eight Independence-variants LCS Austal has delivered, six are currently homeported at the San Diego Navy Base. These ships are being increasingly utilized by the U.S. Navy in operations and the feedback on their versatility and capability is a fantastic endorsement of our unique Austal design», he said.

«There’s no doubt these small surface combatants are and will continue to make a major difference in the U.S. global force structure as the U.S. Navy continues to grow to a 355-ship fleet», he said.

The LCS program is at a full rate production with several ships currently under construction. USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) is preparing for sea trials. Final assembly is well underway on USS Kansas City (LCS-22) and USS Oakland (LCS-24). Modules for USS Mobile (LCS-26) and USS Savannah (LCS-28) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility and USS Canberra (LCS-30) is in pre-production.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

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 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)

 

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

Omaha Launches

The future USS Omaha (LCS-12) launched November 20, marking another important production milestone for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. «That this precisely choreographed launch event has become commonplace in Mobile is a sign of the maturity and stability of the LCS serial production line», said Captain Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. «I look forward to the future USS Omaha (LCS-12) completing the test and trial process en route to delivery to the fleet».

Littoral Combat Ship is being put in the water
Littoral Combat Ship is being put in the water

Omaha was rolled out of her assembly bay at the Austal USA Shipyard onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock at BAE Shipyard on November 19. The ship entered the water on November 20 when the drydock was flooded and the ship floated off the blocks. The ship will return to Austal’s final assembly pier to continue outfitting, system activation and testing. She is scheduled to be christened on December 19.

Omaha is the fourth ship in a block buy contract with Austal to build Independence- variant ships. USS Montgomery (LCS-8) is preparing for builders trials and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) was christened in June 2015 and is currently completing system testing in preparation for trials. USS Manchester (LCS-14) is under construction preparing for an early 2016 launch. USS Tulsa (LCS-16) will have her keel laid later this year.

Launch of USS Omaha (LCS 12) at Austal USA facility - Mobile, Alabama
Launch of USS Omaha (LCS 12) at Austal USA facility – Mobile, Alabama

The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS-1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls) and was led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works for LCS-2 and LCS-4. Purchased under the innovative block-buy acquisition strategy, there are 12 ships currently under construction.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.

Defence vessels designed and built by Austal include focused-mission combatants, such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) for the United States Navy
Defence vessels designed and built by Austal include focused-mission combatants, such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) for the United States Navy

 

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
The littoral combat ship Independence (LCS 2) underway during builder's trials
The littoral combat ship Independence (LCS 2) underway during builder’s trials

 

Ship list

USS Independence (LCS-2)

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)

USS Tulsa (LCS-16)

USS Charleston (LCS-18)

USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)

USS Kansas City (LCS-22)

SUW Configured Independence
SUW Configured Independence