The US Navy’s eighth Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) has been christened USS Montgomery (LCS 8) at Austal’s mobile shipyard in Alabama, US.

The vessel, which is the second Independence-variant LCS being christened by Austral this year, is part of a $3.5bn navy contract to construct and deliver ten more LCSs to join USS Independence (LCS 2), which was commissioned in January 2010.

As part of the LCS programme, Austal has collaborated with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems for the design, integration and testing of the vessel’s electronic systems for combat, networks and seaframe control.

"The future USS Montgomery is an incredible warship."

Austal US President Craig Perciavalle said: "The future USS Montgomery is an incredible warship.

"It is a highly flexible and capable platform that not only meets the needs of the navy today, but can be easily adapted to meet the navy’s evolving needs of the future."

Powered by two LM2500s arranged in a combined diesel or gas turbine configuration with two diesel engines, the 127m-long aluminium trimaran vessels have a maximum cruise speed of approximately 40k and can operate in water 20ft deep.

USS Montgomery aims to offset challenging threats in coastal regions, mainly mines, submarines and fast-surface craft.

It can be equipped with reconfigurable payloads (mission packages), which can be modified to support mine countermeasure, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions.

The navy plans to procure 55 LCSs for multi-mission support to set up and maintain its supremacy in the littorals and sea lanes of communication choke points worldwide.

Launched in August, Montgomery is set for trials and delivery by late summer next year.

Defence Technology