The US Navy is to christen the newest littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Mobile (LCS 26) on 7 December at the Austal USA facility in Mobile, Alabama.

The christening ceremony of the Independence-class LCS will be attended by US Representative for Alabama’s 1st district Bradley Byrne and his wife Rebecca Byrne, who is the ship’s sponsor.

US Navy Acting Secretary Thomas Modly said: “USS Mobile is a marvel of engineering. She will extend our capabilities for any mission, from the middle of the ocean to the shallowest of waters, enhancing our ability to project power ashore and at sea.

“This Independence-class LCS will extend the manoeuvrability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world.”

The future USS Mobile is the 26th in the class and the 13th Independence-variant ship.

It is also the fifth ship to be named after Mobile, the port city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

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The navy’s LCS vessels are capable of supporting surface warfare, mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare missions.

The Independence-variant LCS is designed to operate independently or in a group.

The ship can be used to defeat littoral threats and provide US joint force ‘access to critical areas in multiple theatres’.

Freedom and Independence are the two variants of the LCS class ships. The vessels of the Freedom type are built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin.

The Independence-variant ships are constructed by Austal USA and partners.