The US Navy has received the first littoral combat ship, USS Independence from Austal USA on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

The 127.1m-long warship can accommodate a complement of 40 crew and can cruise at a maximum speed in excess of 40kt.

The LCS-2 Independence, which has completed sea trials, will enter naval service in January 2010, providing high-speed, multimission capability and the capacity for up to two large helicopters.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is the main ship contractor while Austal built the tri-hull, all-aluminum Independence.