The U.S. Navy’s newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Oakland (LCS 24) departed shipbuilder Austal USA’s facility in Mobile, Alabama on May 20 for acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico.
The future USS Oakland is the 12th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) that will join the U.S. Navy fleet. The vessel was launched on July 21 last year and is planned for delivery later this year.
— Austal USA (@Austal_USA) May 21, 2020
The future USS Oakland honors the long-standing history its namesake city has with the Navy. It will be the third naval ship to bear the city’s name.
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 Independence-variant ships are under construction/preparing for delivery 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).
Along with the future USS Oakland, the future USS Mobile – which was launched on Jan. 11 – is also planned for delivery later this year.