US Navy christens new Independence-variant LCS as USS Omaha

20 December 2015 (Last Updated December 20th, 2015 18:30)

The US Navy has christened its newest littoral combat ship, the USS Omaha (LCS 12), in Mobile, Alabama, US.

The US Navy has christened its newest littoral combat ship, the USS Omaha (LCS 12), in Mobile, Alabama, US.

Serving as the ship's sponsor is Susie Buffett, philanthropist and daughter to Berkshire Hathaway chairman and chief executive Warren Buffett.

Navy secretary Ray Mabus said: "More than 4,000 American craftsmen have made this ship possible, craftsmen from Mobile and all around the country, making components of the ship and its systems.

"That partnership between our uniformed men and women, our navy civilians, industry, and the American people, is one of the great strengths of our system.

"More than 4,000 American craftsmen have made this ship possible."

Launched on 24 November this year, the 419ft-long, aluminium trimaran USS Omaha is the fourth ship being built under a block-buy contract with Austal.

The US Navy's LCS programme aims to fill navy gaps in operational war-fighting requirements, specifically to defeat littoral threats, and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.

The LCS-class consists of the Freedom and Independence variants, which are developed by two industry teams.

A team led by Lockheed Martin is building the Freedom variant, while Austal USA is constructing the Independence variant.