Austal USA celebrated the christening of the future USS Kingsville (LCS-36) Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) in a ceremony at the company’s Gulf Coast shipyard on April 22, 2023. Ship sponsor Katherine L. Kline performed the ceremonial bottle break over the bow of Kingsville, the 18th LCS designed and constructed by Austal USA.
Kline is 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. Her father, Lieutenant Commander Richard Sugden, was a Navy flight surgeon.
LCS-36 is the first U.S. Navy ship named for Kingsville. The town, born from the need for an efficient railroad service connecting Brownsville, Texas to St. Louis, Missouri, was founded in 1904, after Captain King’s wife, Henrietta, deeded 40,000 acres from the King Ranch to be available for the development of the Kingsville townsite. The Kingsville community remains vital to the agribusiness of south Texas and maintains a special relationship with Naval Air Station Kingsville.
«It is an honor and privilege to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Kingsville», stated Kline. «I am so proud of the significant role that the namesake city has played in our nation’s security throughout its long history. I know the ship will carry that legacy of service forward as she and her crew enter the fleet to proudly serve our Navy and our Nation».
The ceremony was widely attended by community and Navy leaders, Austal USA shipbuilders, and the ship’s commanding officer Commander Ludwig Mann III.
«It is said that a ship’s sponsor infuses her spirit into each new ship, providing her strength and inspiration to those who serve aboard her throughout the ship’s service life», stated Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh. «We know that Katherine will do a great job as sponsor of Kingsville but also know that the pride and values of those who worked so hard to build her, have laid a solid foundation for her to build upon».
Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships are fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored surface combatants that operate in near-shore and open-ocean environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats.
USS Kingsville (LCS-36) is planned for delivery in early 2024 and will be homeported in San Diego, California, where Austal USA will have the capability to dry-dock and provide lifecycle sustainment support for the Independence-variant ship class and other similar sized ships at its waterfront repair facility.
The Independence Variant of the LCS
|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||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||San Diego, California|
|USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)||10-27-2020||11-12-2021||04-01-2022||San Diego, California|
|USS Augusta (LCS-34)||07-30-2021||05-23-2022|
|USS Kingsville (LCS-36)||02-23-2022||03-27-2023||San Diego, California|
|USS Pierre (LCS-38)|