Austal USA hosted the christening ceremony for the future USS Canberra (LCS 30) Independence-variant littoral combat ship. Canberra is the 15th LCS designed and constructed by Austal USA and the second U.S. Navy ship to be named after the Australian capital. The ship’s sponsor, Australian Senator and Foreign Minister Marise Payne, attended the ship’s keel laying ceremony in Mobile early last year, but was unable to attend today’s christening ceremony. Alison Petchell, the Australian Government’s Minister Counsellor Defense Materiel, christened the future USS Canberra (LCS 30).
In 2018, during a joint press conference in Washington DC with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, US President Donald Trump announced the US Navy’s new warship will be named the USS Canberra. It is the only US navy vessel to be named for a city outside of the US. The former USS Canberra was named after the Australian vessel HMAS Canberra, a warship that was involved in the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II, and later sunk in the Battle of Savo Island.
“Today, just 16 years after Austal USA joined the U.S. defense industrial base, the company is hosting its 15th littoral combat ship christening – LCS 30, a ship proudly named after the capital of Australia and yet another symbol of the great ties between our two countries,” stated Austal USA Interim President Rusty Murdaugh in his address to the audience at the ceremony.
Canberra (LCS 30) is the 15th of 19 small surface combatants Austal USA is building for the U.S. Navy. Five are under various stages of construction and a sixth is on contract waiting to start construction. Austal USA is also constructing two Expeditionary Fast Transport ships (EPF) for the U.S. Navy with one more on contract awaiting start of construction. The company recently broke ground on its new steel manufacturing line to expand its shipbuilding capability to service the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard’s rising demand for steel ships.