The US Navy has officially commissioned a second littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Independence.
Chief of Naval Operations admiral Gary Roughead said the ship will have the capability to secure littoral regions upon which communities rely for food, transportation and well-being.
“It will also protect critical chokepoints in the global supply chain, to launch unmanned air, underwater and surface vehicles that will keep our trade at sea and our men and women ashore safe from harm,” Roughead said.
Naval Surface Forces commander vice admiral DC Curtis said LCS will deter green and brown water threats. The flexibility and versatility of USS Independence will make it well suited for joint operations.
The 419ft-long aluminium trimaran will have a displacement of 2,800 metric tons, a cruising speed in excess of 45k and an operational range of 3,500 nautical miles and will be able to operate in water depths of less than 20ft.
The fast and agile LCS is being designed to defeat anti-access threats in shallow, coastal water regions, which include fast surface craft, quiet diesel submarines and mines.
USS Independence will feature an interchangeable modular design that will allow the ship to be reconfigured to meet mission requirements including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and maritime security, along with an aviation detachment.
The US Navy has set a goal of acquiring a larger LCS fleet with a total of 55 littoral combat ships.