The US Navy has accepted the delivery of its Independence-class littoral combat ship, the future USS Tulsa (LCS 16), during a ceremony in Mobile, Alabama.
The delivery represents the ship’s official handover to the navy from shipbuilding company Austal USA prior its commissioning, which is currently slated for later this year in San Francisco, California.
LCS programme manager captain Mike Taylor said: “Today marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Tulsa, as transfer occurs to the navy and she enters service.”
The future USS Tulsa features a trimaran hull and a large flight deck typical of Independence-variant vessels.
It is the 13th LCS to be delivered the US Navy to date, as well as the eighth ship of the class to join the fleet.
LCS 16 commanding officer commander Drew Borovies said: “To see Tulsa ready for delivery, words almost can’t express the amazing work that Austal, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast, and Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants have done to get her to this point.”
LCS 16 will be home-ported in San Diego after being commissioned into service with the navy.
It will join its sister vessels USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), USS Omaha (LCS 12) and the future USS Manchester (LCS 14).
The LCS units feature an open architecture concept and are equipped with modular weapons, sensor systems and a wide range of manned and unmanned vehicles, which are designed to help the ships exploit littoral maritime supremacy.
LCS 16 previously completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico in March, which involved a demonstration of the successful operation of all the vessel’s major systems and equipment.