The future USS Canberra (LCS 30) sailed away from Austal USA last month and arrived at her San Diego homeport. USS Canberra (LCS-30) is an Independence-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. 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. She is the second US ship to be named Canberra, after the Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra, named after the Australian capital city and sunk during the Battle of Savo Island.
Canberra was built in Mobile, Alabama by Austal USA. 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. She was christened on 5 June 2021, with Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, serving as the ship’s sponsor. Arthur Sinodinos, Australia’s Ambassador to the United States was in attendance at the ceremony on behalf of Australia. The US Navy accepted delivery of the ship at Austral USA’s facilities in Mobile on 21 December 2021. At this time it was scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2022.
The Independence class is a class of littoral combat ships built for the United States Navy. The hull design evolved from a project at Austal to design a high speed, 40 knot cruise ship. The ships are 127.4 m (418 ft) long, with a beam of 31.6 m (104 ft), and a draft of 13 ft (3.96 m). Their displacement is rated at 2,377 tons light, 3,228 tons full, and 851 tons deadweight. That hull design evolved into the high-speed trimaran ferry HSC Benchijigua Express and the Independence class was then proposed by General Dynamics and Austal as a contender for Navy plans to build a fleet of smaller, agile, multipurpose warships to operate nearshore in the littoral zone.
Austal USA is an advanced ship manufacturer headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, with operations in San Diego, Seattle, and Singapore. Its headquarters and manufacturing facility are located on its state-of-the-art campus designed uniquely with moving assembly lines for module construction and guided by lean manufacturing principles. The company is under contract with the U.S. Navy to build the advanced small surface combatant Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship and the auxiliary ship Expeditionary Fast Transport. Austal USA continues to be one of the safest shipyards in America and was ranked by Forbes as the 49th best midsize employer in the U.S.