Tag Archives: Independence class

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