First Austal LCS Joins US Navy Fleet
Austal-designed and built Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), “USS Independence" has officially joined the operating forces of the United States Navy at an historic commissioning ceremony held near Austal’s Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A. facility. The “USS Independence” will serve as a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments.
According to the company, Austal’s proven low resistance trimaran hull form, “USS Independence” offers superior maneuverability and stability, endurance to travel 6437 km at 18 knots, three weapon zones, capacity for any two mission packages simultaneously, and a flight deck larger than any other surface combatant other than aircraft carriers.
The 127 m all-aluminium vessel is capable of being outfitted with reconfigurable payloads (Mission Packages) which can be changed quickly to support mine countermeasure, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions. The vessel has a maximum speed of more than 45 knots.
Construction is already underway on Austal’s second US Navy LCS, “Coronado” which is expected to be delivered in 2012. Austal USA has also begun construction of the first Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) which will be named “Fortitude” (JHSV 1). As Prime contractor, Austal will design and build up to 10 of the 103 m JHSVs – five for the US Navy and five for the US Army.
For more information: www.austal.com