Austal USA has delivered the Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), to the U.S. Navy from the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
LCS-26 is the Navy’s 13th Independence-class LCS. The vessel concluded its acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico on Sept. 25 after a series of in-port and underway demonstrations.
Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the delivery of the future USS Mobile, in Mobile, was a very fitting way to finish the year 2020.
“What better way to end this challenging year than with the delivery of the future USS Mobile in its namesake city. This ship is a fantastic tribute to the spirit and determination of the people of Austal USA and the City of Mobile,” Mr Singleton said. “Our warmest congratulations to the US Navy on the delivery of their latest Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship; another great symbol of the success of the United States defence industrial base and a highly capable addition to the fleet.”
LCS 26 is the fourth ship delivered by Austal USA to the U.S. Navy in CY2020, following the delivery of littoral combat ships USS Kansas City (LCS 22) in February and USS Oakland (LCS 24) in June, and Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship USNS Newport (EPF 12) in September.
The keel of future USS Mobile was laid at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama facility on Dec. 14, 2018, and she was christened on Dec. 7, 2019. The vessel was launched on Jan. 11, 2020.
The future USS Mobile is the fifth ship named in honor of the port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The first Mobile was a side-wheel steamer that operated as a Confederate government-operated blockade runner. It was captured by U.S. forces at New Orleans in April 1862, commissioned as Tennessee and later renamed Mobile. The second Mobile was a passenger liner operated by Hamburg Amerika Lines between Germany and the United States until the outbreak of World War I. It was taken over by the Allied Maritime Council and assigned to the United States after the Armistice and commissioned March 1919. The third Mobile (CL 63), a cruiser, was commissioned March 24, 1943. It participated in numerous campaigns in the Pacific Theater during World War II and received 11 battle stars for her service by the time she was decommissioned May 1947. The fourth Mobile (LKA 115) was an amphibious cargo ship that served from September 1969 until decommissioning in February 1994.
Following commissioning, Mobile (LCS 26) will sail to its homeport in San Diego an will be based 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), USS Kansas City (LCS 22), and USS Oakland (LCS 24).
The Independence-class LCS 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 127 metre high-speed trimaran hull warship integrates new technology and capability to support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
Four LCS vessels are presently under various stages of construction at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard. Assembly continues on the future USS Savannah (LCS 28) and USS Canberra (LCS 30) while modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) and USS Augusta (LCS 34) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility (MMF). The future USS Kingsville (LSC 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38) are under contract.
Austal USA is also under contract to build 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) for the U.S. Navy, with 12 vessels delivered and an additional vessel under construction and one scheduled.