The US Navy has commissioned its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the USS Jackson (LCS 6), in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Named in honour of the seventh US president, Andrew Jackson, the LCS 6 represents the fifth LCS, and the third of the Independence variant to join the navy.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said: "As we welcome USS Jackson to the fleet, we are reminded of the importance of the partnership between our Navy and our nation’s shipbuilding industry; a relationship that has brought us to the Jackson’s commissioning, a time-honoured tradition during which the sailors who make up her crew will breathe life into the hull of this great warship.
"We also celebrate the lasting bond this ship will share with the great people of Jackson, Mississippi, as it sails the globe, providing a presence that only our navy and marine corps can maintain."
The new USS Jackson is a 127m-long, fast, agile, focused-mission combat ship, with a full-load displacement of 2,637t, an operational range of 4,300nm, and is capable of cruising at a speed of 40k.
The LCS class is comprised of two variants; the Freedom variant and Independence variant, which are developed by two industry teams led by Lockheed Martin and Austal respectively.
Austal is responsible for the delivery of ten LCSs to the US Navy under a $3.5bn contract. The Independence variant team was originally led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works.
The US Navy’s LCS vessels have been designed to support a range of missions, including defeating asymmetric anti-access threats, including mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface craft in near-shore environments.