The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Augusta (LCS 34) at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, May 12. USS Augusta is the second ship named in honor of the city of Augusta, Maine. USS Augusta (LCS-34) is a planned Independence-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. She will be the second ship to be named for Augusta, Maine. In March, Augusta completed acceptance trials, the last significant milestone before a vessel is delivered to the Navy. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in the fall of 2023. After commissioning, the ship will be homeported in San Diego, California.
“The delivery of the future USS Augusta marks a noteworthy milestone in the life of this ship and forges a great connection to the citizens of Maine, a state with a long history of shipbuilding,” said LCS program manager, Capt. Andy Gold. “I look forward to seeing the future USS Augusta and her sailors bring critical capability to the fleet.”
Augusta is the second LCS delivered in Fiscal Year 2023, following the Freedom-variant USS Marinette (LCS 25) in February. The Independence class is a class of littoral combat ships built for the United States Navy.Two additional Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships are currently being constructed at Austal USA, including the recently launched Kingsville (LCS 36) and Pierre (LCS 38). She will be the second ship to be named for Augusta, Maine. Ex-USS Augusta (SSN 710), the first ship named after the capital of Maine, was a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine in active service for 24 years and was decommissioned on February 11, 2009.
The hull design evolved from a project at Austal to design a high speed, 40-knot-cruise ship. 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. The Littoral Combat Ship is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as mines and swarming small craft.