Naval Warfare

Austal USA Delivers Future Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Kingsville (LCS 36)

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Austal USA Delivers Future Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Kingsville (LCS 36)

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Austal USA Delivers Future Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Kingsville (LCS 36)
Austal USA Delivers Future Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Kingsville (LCS 36)

Austal USA delivered the future USS Kingsville (LCS 36) to the U.S. Navy March 1, 2024. Kingsville is the 18th Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) delivered by the company and the first U.S. Navy vessel to be named after the Texas city home to Naval Air Station Kingsville and directly tied to the historic King Ranch. Delivery documents were signed on board the ship and followed the successful completion of acceptance trials at the end of January during which the ship’s major systems and equipment were tested to demonstrate mission readiness. The ship’s pre-commissioning unit will now prepare the ship for fleet introduction.

“The delivery of this ship on time and on budget is representative of the pride and dedication on which Austal USA’s shipbuilders have built their stellar reputation. We are excited to provide Kingsville to the Navy to join her sister ships operating in the Pacific providing a critical capability to the fleet,” remarked Austal USA’s acting president, Michelle Kruger.

Kingsville is the 18th LCS delivered by the company & the first U.S. Navy vessel to be named after the Texas city home to Naval Air Station Kingsville & directly tied to the historic King Ranch.
Kingsville is the 18th LCS delivered by the company & the first U.S. Navy vessel to be named after the Texas city home to Naval Air Station Kingsville & directly tied to the historic King Ranch. (Photo by Austal USA)

The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. In November 2023 the Navy proudly reported it had six Independence-variant LCS deployed in the Pacific throughout 2023, including the record-breaking 26-month overseas deployment of USS Charleston (LCS18). The Austal USA-built LCS variant is also providing support to the Navy’s unmanned programs with USS Oakland (LCS 24) operating as a mothership for the Unmanned Surface Division 1 vessels Ranger, Mariner, Seahawk and Sea Hunter and the large flight decks support unmanned drones, like the MQ-8C Fire Scout. Integration of the mine countermeasures (MCM) mission package placed aboard USS Canberra (LCS 30) signifies additional capabilities planned for Independence-class ships.

Austal USA is constructing the Navy’s final Independence-variant LCS, future USS Pierre (LCS 38), which is scheduled to be christened later this spring. Austal USA is an American shipbuilder based on Blakeley Island in Mobile, Alabama. It is a subsidiary of the Australian shipbuilder Austal, operating under a Special Security Arrangement which allows it to work independently and separately on some of the most sensitive United States defense programs despite its foreign ownership. Austal USA was formed in 1999 when Austal formed a 70:30 joint venture with Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co to build ferries.

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