The US Navy has announced that its second shallow-water littoral combat ship (LCS), the USS Independence, will be officially commissioned on 16 January 2010 in Mobile, Alabama.

USS Independence gold crew commanding officer commander Michael Riley said the ship was large enough and flexible enough to hold just about anything you could think of in terms of coastal and littoral warfare.

The navy’s first LCS vessel USS Freedom is currently readying for her maiden deployment to US Southern Command.

After being commissioned, the USS Independence will undergo further testing and evaluation before heading toward its homeport in San Diego.

USS Independence is a 419ft aluminum trimaran, the first of its design in the surface fleet.

The 419ft-long LCS has a displacement of 2,800t and a maximum cruising speed in excess of 45kt. The ship has an operational range of 35,000nm and can be operated in water at depths less than 20ft.

USS Independence features an interchangeable modular design that allows the ship to be reconfigured to meet mission requirements, which include surface warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or maritime security along with an aviation detachment.

The US Navy has set a goal of acquiring a total of 55 littoral combat ships specifically designed to defeat anti-access threats in shallow, coastal water regions, including fast surface craft, quiet diesel submarines and mines.