Austal USA has launched the US Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, the future USS Oakland (LCS 24), into the waters at the facility it’s being manufactured in Mobile, Alabama.
The future USS Oakland is sponsored by Google sustainability officer Kate Brandt, and will be delivered to the US Navy next year.
The formal launch of the vessel comes after a christening ceremony in June this year.
LCS 24 is the 12th Independence-variant LCS and the third US Navy ship to be named in honour of Oakland. The ship will be homeported in San Diego naval base.
In a statement, the US Navy said: “The future USS Oakland honours the long-standing history its namesake city has with the navy.”
The Alabama shipyard is currently building the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), Savannah (LCS 28) and Canberra (LCS 30) LCS ships.
The future USS Kansas City (LCS 22) is the second ship to bear the city’s name and is preparing for sea trials.
Austal is under contract to build four additional LCS vessels.
The LCS is designed to operate in near-shore environments and open-ocean. It has the capability to tackle modern coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft.
The US Navy can deploy these ships in support of forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.
LCS is available in two variants, the Freedom-class and Independence-class.
The Freedom-class LCS is designed and built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine.
Austal USA heads the team that builds the Independence-variant LCS.
The company delivered the future USS Cincinnati LCS to the US Navy last week.
In addition, the firm builds expeditionary fast transport (EPF) ships for the service.