US Navy’s future LCS USS Charleston ready for commissioning

1 March 2019 (Last Updated March 1st, 2019 12:15)

The US Navy’s newest Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Charleston (LCS 18), is set to be commissioned at Columbus Street Terminal in Charleston, South Carolina.

US Navy’s future LCS USS Charleston ready for commissioning
The future littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) during acceptance trials in July last year. Credit: US Navy/Austal USA.

The US Navy’s newest Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Charleston (LCS 18), is set to be commissioned at Columbus Street Terminal in Charleston, South Carolina.

The commissioning ceremony will be attended by South Carolina senator Tim Scott and the ship’s sponsor Charlotte Riley, wife of former Charleston mayor Joe Riley.

US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said: “The future USS Charleston is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together.

“This ship will extend the manoeuvrability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world, from maintaining the sea lanes to countering instability to maintaining our edge against renewed great power competition.”

USS Charleston is the country’s 18th LCS and the sixth ship to be named after Charleston, the second largest city in South Carolina.

The vessel was christened in August 2017 and delivered to the US Navy last year following the completion of acceptance trials.

“The future USS Charleston is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together.”

To be based in San Diego, California, the future USS Charleston is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform that can operate in near-shore environments, as well as open-ocean.

The ship has the ability to defeat asymmetric ‘anti-access’ threats, such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

A team led by Austal USA is responsible for building and delivering the Independence-class LCS to the US Navy.

The second variant, the Freedom-class, is constructed by a consortium led by Lockheed Martin.

Austal USA has recently started construction on the future USS Canberra (LCS 30) at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Last month, the Navy completed acceptance trials of the USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Separately, the US Navy has chosen Key West, Florida, as the site for the commissioning of the future USS Billings (LCS 15) in August this year.