Austal USA launches fourth Independence-class LCS

Austal USA has has launched the future USS Omaha, a new Independence-class littoral combat ship for the U.S. Navy.

The first-of-class USS Independence moored in Florida. U.S. Navy photo by Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Nicholas Kontodiakos.
The first-of-class USS Independence moored in Florida. U.S. Navy photo by Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Nicholas Kontodiakos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vessel was rolled out of its assembly bay at the Austal shipyard onto a barge in mobile, Ala., last week, taken down the Mobile River to a floating BAE Systems drydock and floated off.

Austal said the Omaha is now back in the assembly hall for further outfitting, christening and testing.

“That this precisely choreographed launch event has become commonplace in Mobile is a sign of the maturity and stability of the LCS serial production line,” said Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. “I look forward to the future USS Omaha completing the test and trial process en route to delivery to the fleet.”

The Omaha is 413 feet long and will have a range of about 4,300 miles at 18 knots. The ship’s maximum speed is 44 knots. It is a modular, reconfigurable ship capable of carrying three types of mission packages: surface warfare, mine counter-measures, and anti-submarine warfare.

The Omaha is the fourth ship in a block-buy contract with Austal. The Montgomery is preparing for builders’ trials; the Gabrielle Giffords was christened in June and is currently completing system testing; the Manchester is under construction and will be launched next year. The Tulsa will have her keel laid before the end of this year.

By Richard Tomkins

UPI