The following is text of a news release from Austal USA:
(MOBILE, Ala.) — Austal USA delivered its 11th littoral combat ship (LCS) to the U.S. Navy on Feb. 12. The future USS Kansas City (LCS 22) is the first LCS delivered in 2020.
Upgrades on the LCS program continue to take shape both during inline production and post-delivery. The Austal USA and General Dynamics Mission Systems team recently integrated a new over-the-horizon missile system capability onto USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) prior to its deployment. Gabrielle Giffords and a sister ship, USS Montgomery (LCS 8), are currently deployed and meeting U.S. Navy operational requirements as more LCS prepare for deployment.
“The LCS program has become invaluable to the U.S. Navy fleet deploying ships from both the East and West Coast this past year,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. “The Montgomery and Gabrielle Giffords accompanying the fleet in the Pacific are doing their part to strengthen maritime security and regional stability with every port visit and exercise they participate in with our Pacific allies.”
Five small surface combatants are presently under various stages of construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. The future USS Oakland (LCS 24) and USS Mobile (LCS 26) are preparing for sea trials. Assembly is underway on the future USS Savannah (LCS 28) and USS Canberra (LCS 30), and modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility. Three more LCS are under contract through LCS 38.
More than 700 suppliers in 40 states contribute to the Independence-variant LCS program.
LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “ant-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
Austal is also under contract to build 14 expeditionary fast transport vessels (EPFs) for the U.S. Navy. The company has delivered 11 EPFs while an additional two are in various stages of construction.