The U.S. Navy is scheduled to commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Kansas City (LCS 22), during a ceremony in Naval Base San Diego on June 20, 2020.
Due to public health safety and restrictions of large public events related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Navy cancelled the traditional public commissioning ceremony for the vessel. The Navy will commission Kansas City via naval message and transition the ship into service as scheduled.
The future USS Kansas City will be homeported in San Diego where she arrived on May 24. She will join 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), and USS Cincinnati (LCS 20).
Kansas City was built in Mobile, Alabama by Austal USA. The keel of the vessel was laid on Nov. 15, 2017, and she was christened on Sept. 22, 2018, followed by launching on Oct. 19, 2018. The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the vessel on Feb. 12 this year.
Prior to departing Mobile for San Diego, Kansas City’s crew conducted a 21-day restriction in movement (ROM) in accordance with U.S. Navy pre-deployment guidelines.
The future USS Kansas City is the 21st LCS to be delivered to the Navy, and the 11th of the Independence-variant to join the fleet. LCS 22 is the second ship to be named for Kansas City, the largest city in the state of Missouri. The name Kansas City was assigned to a heavy cruiser during World War II; however, construction was canceled after one month due to the end of the war. The name Kansas City was also assigned to the Wichita-class replenishment oiler AOR-3 in 1967. This ship saw service in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and was decommissioned in 1994.
Littoral Combat Ship
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).
LCS is now the second-largest U.S. Navy surface ship class in production after the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers. In 2019, three LCSs were delivered to the fleet and five will be delivered in 2020 at a pace not seen since the 1990s.
Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships
The 12th Independence-variant LCS, the future USS Oakland (LCS 24) successfully concluded her acceptance trials on May 22.
Four Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The future USS Mobile (LCS 26) is undergoing final assembly. The modules for the future USS Savannah (LCS 28) and future USS Canberra (LCS 30) also are being erected, and modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are being fabricated.
Additionally, Austal USA is preparing for the construction of the future USS Augusta (LCS 34), USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38).