Fast, agile platform

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony Saturday, September 10 in Mobile, Alabama.

The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA
The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA

Montgomery, designated LCS-8, honors the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and is the second U.S. ship in our nation’s history to be named in honor of the capital of Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama was named for Richard Montgomery, a major general in the Continental Army.

U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne, Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Mary Sessions, wife of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and a Montgomery native, is serving as the ship’s sponsor.

«The commissioning of USS Montgomery is not only a celebration of the partnership we share with the people of a great southern capital, but also of our nation’s highly skilled shipbuilders who, in building ships like Montgomery – the U.S. Navy’s eighth littoral combat ship – will help us continue to grow the fleet to more than 300 ships by the end of this decade», said the Honorable Ray Mabus, secretary of the U.S. Navy. «This great ship, and the sailors who serve aboard her, will represent the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and our nation around the world for years to come».

While the second to be named for the Alabama capital, a total of four Navy ships have previously borne the name Montgomery. The first USS Montgomery was a sloop, or schooner, that was in service on Lake Champlain from 1813 to 1815. The second USS Montgomery was a wooden screw steamer in the Union Navy during the U.S. Civil War. USS Montgomery (C-9), the third of her name and the lead ship of her class, was an unprotected cruiser that served during the Spanish-American War and in World War I. USS Montgomery (DD-121) was a Wickes-class destroyer commissioned in 1918 and later converted to a minelayer that saw service during World War II, where she earned four battle stars for meritorious participation in battle.

Montgomery is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions in areas such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.

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) while the Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

The LCS seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission modules (made up of mission systems and support equipment), which can be changed quickly. These modules combine with crew detachments and aviation assets to become complete mission packages, which will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, or surface warfare missions.


The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

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
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
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
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
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules



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
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)