The US Navy has christened its newest Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS) the USS Kansas City (LCS 22) at Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

LCS 22 is the second US Navy vessel to be named after Kansas, the largest US city in Missouri.

US Navy Secretary Richard V Spencer said: “The future USS Kansas City is a symbol of the strong connection between the people of Missouri and the Navy and Marine Corps team.

“The ship is a testament to our commitment to provide maritime dominance and power projection required by the nation, and to our partnership with industry to build the navy the nation needs.”

"The future USS Kansas City is a symbol of the strong connection between the people of Missouri and the Navy and Marine Corps team."

The contract for the construction of the 418ft-long LCS was awarded to Austal USA on 29 December 2010.

While construction on the future USS Kansas City started on 16 October 2016, keel on the vessel was laid on 15 November last year. This ship is slated to be commissioned with the US Navy in 2020.

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With a width of nearly 104ft, LCS 22 has a full displacement of 2,784t and can sail at a speed of more than 40k.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable vessel designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in littoral regions.

Being constructed in two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, LCS features an open architecture design, and is equipped with modular weapons, sensor systems and a wide range of manned and unmanned vehicles.