The following is text of a news release from Austal USA:
(MOBILE, Ala.) — Austal USA hosted the christening of the nation’s 22nd littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Kansas City, at its ship manufacturing facility in Mobile on Saturday. Kansas City is the 11th of 17 Independence-variant LCS that Austal USA has under contract with the U.S. Navy.
The ship’s sponsor, Tracy Davidson, wife of Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander, United States Indo-Pacific Command, headlined the group of officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members, and Austal USA employees who attended the ceremony beneath the hull of the ship in Austal USA’s final assembly bay.
The Independence-variant LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant designed to conduct surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. With its open architecture design, the LCS can support modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to capture and sustain littoral maritime supremacy.
Austal delivered Charleston (LCS 18) in the end of August, the third Independence-variant LCS delivered to the Navy this year. In addition to the future USS Kansas City, four more Independence-variant LCS are currently under construction, including Cincinnati (LCS 20), Oakland (LCS 24), Mobile (LCS 26) and Savannah (LCS 28) with construction on Canberra (LCS 30) scheduled to begin in early 2019. The future LCS 32 and 34 were awarded on Sept. 18, 2018 and will begin pre-production activities.
In addition to being in full rate production for the LCS program, Austal is also the Navy’s prime contractor for the expeditionary fast transport (EPF) program. Austal has delivered nine EPFs, while an additional three are in various stages of construction.