Tag Archives: USS Charleston (LCS-18)

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
Charleston

The U.S. Navy christened its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Charleston (LCS-18), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, August 26, in Mobile, Alabama.

Navy christened Littoral Combat Ship Charleston
Navy christened Littoral Combat Ship Charleston

The future USS Charleston, designated LCS-18, honors Charleston, the second-largest city in South Carolina. She will be the sixth ship to be named for Charleston.

The Honorable Richard V. Spencer, Secretary of the U.S. Navy, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Charlotte Riley, the wife of ten-term, former Mayor of Charleston Joe Riley, served as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by Mrs. Riley breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition.

«I am honored to be here as we christen the newest LCS, the future USS Charleston», said the Honorable Richard V. Spencer, Secretary of the U.S. Navy. «Charleston, like the other ships in the LCS program, is going to be highly maneuverable, able to operate where other ships cannot, and will project power through forward presence. The ship and her crew will serve our nation for decades to come, but let us not forget our industrial force whose service makes this great ship possible. I am grateful for the men and women of Austal for their dedication, and to the citizens of Mobile for their support, as we continue to make our Navy stronger».”

The name Charleston has a long and storied history in the U.S. Navy. The first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Charleston was a row galley that defended the coast of South Carolina during the Quasi-War with France. The second Charleston (C-2) was a protected cruiser that received the surrender of Guam during the Spanish-American War. The third Charleston (C-22) was a St. Louis-class protected cruiser that performed escort and troop transport duties in World War I. The ship named Charleston (PG-51) was an Erie-class patrol gunboat that earned the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one battle star for her service in the northern Pacific during World War II. The fifth Charleston (AKA-113/LKA-113) was an amphibious cargo ship that served during the Vietnam War.

The future USS Charleston (LCS-18) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the 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 the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

Each LCS seaframe will be outfitted with a single mission package made up of mission modules containing warfighting systems and support equipment. A dedicated ship crew will combine with aviation assets to deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions.

Ship's Crest
Ship’s Crest

 

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
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017
USS Kansas City (LCS-22)
USS Oakland (LCS-24)

 

Future LCS Charleston

A ceremony was hosted to celebrate the keel authentication of future USS Charleston (LCS-18), the ninth Independence variant littoral combat ship, June 28.

The U.S. Navy laid the keel for the nation’s 18th littoral combat ship, the USS Charleston (LCS-18), at Austal’s shipyard in Alabama, USA
The U.S. Navy laid the keel for the nation’s 18th littoral combat ship, the USS Charleston (LCS-18), at Austal’s shipyard in Alabama, USA

Charlotte Riley, wife of former Charleston mayor Joseph Riley, serves as the ship’s sponsor and honorary member and advocate for the crew. U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (Republican – Alabama) served as the honorary keel authenticator during the ceremony and was present to weld his initials into the keel plate.

«The future USS Charleston (LCS-18) stands as a testament to the strong and resilient spirit of her namesake city», said Captain Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. «Once complete, this highly versatile warship will sail the world’s seas, carrying with her the backing of a city steeped in naval history».

Built by an industry team led by Austal USA, Charleston will be approximately 417 feet/127.1 m in length and have a width of nearly 103 feet/31.4 m.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. 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 LCS-1 and follow-on odd-numbered hulls. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA – for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls.

The Program Executive Office (PEO) Littoral Combat Ships 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.

 

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 Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls) and was originally led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (LCS-2 and LCS-4)
The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls) and was originally led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (LCS-2 and LCS-4)

 

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 San Diego, California
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) 06-28-2016
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)
USS Kansas City (LCS-22)
USS Oakland (LCS-24)
USS Jackson (LCS-6) during its christening ceremony at Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama in 2014 (U.S. Navy Photo)
USS Jackson (LCS-6) during its christening ceremony at Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama in 2014 (U.S. Navy Photo)