The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the newest Independence-class littoral combat ship, the future USS Kansas City (LCS 22), during a ceremony at Austal USA’s facility in Mobile, Alabama on Feb. 12.
Kansas City is the 21st littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy and the 11th the Independence variant to join the fleet.
The delivery marked the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder, Austal USA, to the Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for later this year. Following commissioning, Kansas City will be homeported in San Diego.
“This is a tremendous day for the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Kansas City,” said LCS program manager Capt. Mike Taylor. “I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this great ship alongside the crew later this year. Kansas City will play an essential role in carrying out our nation’s future maritime strategy.”
The future USS Kansas City is the second U.S. Navy ship to honor Missouri’s largest city. The Navy’s first USS Kansas City was to have been a World War II heavy cruiser, but the ship was never completed. A Wichita-class replenishment oiler bore the name USS Kansas City (AOR-3) from 1967 to 1994 and took part in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.
The LCS is a high speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant of the U.S. Navy designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. It is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions.
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). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
Four additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA: the future USS Oakland (LCS 24), USS Mobile (LCS 26), USS Savannah (LCS 28) and USS Canberra (LCS 30). Four additional ships are awaiting the start of construction: the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32), USS Augusta (LCS 34), USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38).
The future USS Kansas City is the second LCS delivered to the Navy in 2020. The future USS St. Louis (LCS 19), a Freedom-variant LCS, was delivered on Feb. 6. Three more LCS — the future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS 21), USS Oakland (LCS 24) and USS Mobile (LCS 26) — are planned for delivery later this year.