Austal USA delivered its fourth ship of 2020 to the U.S. Navy – the future USS Mobile, the 13th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS). Mobile (LCS 26) is one of 16 ships Austal has delivered to the Navy over the last five years. The future USS Mobile successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico Sept. 25. Four LCSs are presently under various stages of construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. The future USS Savannah (LCS 28) is preparing for sea trials, assembly is underway on the future USS Canberra (LCS 30) and USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32), and modules for the future USS Augusta (LCS 34) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility. The future USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38) are under contract. More than 563 suppliers in 37 states contribute to the Independence-variant LCS program.
“We’re especially excited for Mobile to join the fleet to pay tribute to a great community which has contributed to our success in so many ways over the years,” Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said. “Our team continues to impress, working through difficult conditions to maintain cost and schedule – neither the pandemic nor hurricanes impacted our ability to deliver the future USS Mobile on cost and schedule – a testament to the incredible fortitude and work ethic of these amazing people from her namesake city. USS Gabrielle Giffords and USS Montgomery conducted successful deployments in the Pacific recently and we are looking forward to having the future USS Mobile join them soon,” Perciavalle continued. “The U.S. Navy fleet will keep benefitting from the value the Independence-variant littoral combat ships provide as more of them deploy from San Diego.”
The Independence-variant LCS is a high-speed, shallow-draft, focused-mission ship capable of operating independently or in a group. The ships was then proposed by General Dynamics and Austal as a contender for U.S. Navy plans to build a fleet of smaller, agile, multipurpose warships to operate nearshore in the littoral zone. These ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance along coastal waters, yet capable of open-ocean operation. A fast, maneuverable and networked surface-combatant, LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare. The LCS program is at full-rate production and continuing its momentum at Austal USA, with five ships currently under construction including Mobile. Austal is also under contract to build 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) for the U.S. Navy. The company has delivered 12 EPFs while an additional two are in various stages of construction.