Austal USA has started the construction of the U.S. Navy littoral combat ship, the future USS Savannah (LCS 28), at its Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF) in Mobile, Alabama on July 19.
The construction was ceremoniously begun with the cutting ceremony of the first metal for the vessel.
The future USS Savannah (LCS 28) will be the 14th Independence-variant littoral combat ship of the U.S. Navy once commissioned into the fleet. She will be the sixth Navy ship to bear the name of Savannah, the oldest city of Georgia.
Future USS Charleston (LCS 18) is preparing for acceptance trials. Assembly is underway on future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) and future USS Kansas City (LCS 22) and modules for future USS Oakland (LCS 24) and future USS Mobile (LCS 26) are under construction. Additionally, Austal has one more LCS in a pre-construction phase, the future USS Canberra (LCS 30).
LCS is a high speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations.
As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.
Each LCS will be outfitted with a mission package made up of reconfigurable mission modules containing warfighting systems and support equipment. A dedicated crew will combine with aviation assets to deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures (MCM), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) or surface warfare (ASuW) missions.
An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas.
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 ships, e.g. LCS 1) while the Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered ships).