The US Navy has decommissioned the Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Independence (LCS 2) at Naval Base San Diego, California, US.

The decommissioning ceremony event took place on 29 July.

According to the US Navy, the decommissioning follows ten years of the ship’s distinguished service.

US Pacific Fleet Naval Surface Force Commander vice-admiral Roy Kitchener said: “The Independence crew shouldered a heavy responsibility. Since the ship’s introduction into the fleet we asked her to serve for a specific purpose; to test emerging equipment and concepts.

“The crew accomplished that and so much more. Without their efforts and experiences, the ship class would not be where it is today with six ships deployed throughout the world.

“Those improvements, made largely in part due to this crew’s experience and input, will continue to carry the LCS class into the future.”

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Designed based on a trimaran hull, USS Independence (LCS 2) was launched in April 2008 and commissioned in January 2010.

The LCS is designed to perform missions that include countering littoral mine threats, diesel submarine threats, and surface threats, such as small surface craft attacks.

The LCS class comprises two variants, with the ‘Freedom’ type being built and delivered by Lockheed Martin, and the ‘Independence’ type constructed by Austal USA.

Littoral combat ship mission modules will have the capability to be changed, tested and available to be deployed within 24 hours.

The ship’s mission packages include mine warfare (MIW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (SUW).

With the decommissioning of Independence, the US Navy will now have 22 operational LCS ships.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, US Navy has christened its newest and most advanced Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine as USS Hyman G Rickover (SSN 795). Rickover is the 22nd ship of the Virginia Class.

This event marks the christening of the first submarine at the General Dynamics-Electric Boat (GDEB) Shipyard in Groton since the Covid-19 pandemic began.