The US Navy has commissioned the 11th of the Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Kansas City (LCS 22), administratively through naval message amid the Covid-19 pandemic and transitioned it to normal operations.

Kansas City, which joined the navy fleet, is a fast, agile and networked surface combatant. Its primary mission includes countering diesel submarine threats, littoral mine threats as well as surface threats to assure maritime access for joint forces.

US Navy secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said: “This Independence-variant littoral combat ship will continue our proud naval legacy and embody the spirit of the people of Kansas City.

“I am confident the crew of the USS Kansas City will extend the reach and capability of our force and confront the challenges of today’s complex world with our core values of honour, courage and commitment.”

The LCS is capable of rapidly installing interchangeable mission packages (MPs) onto the seaframe for completing a specific mission.

The MPs can later on be uninstalled, maintained and upgraded at the Mission Package Support Facility (MPSF) for future use on any combat ship.

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Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet vice-admiral Richard Brown said that the ship brings capabilities to counter diesel submarine, mines, and fast surface craft threats to the premier Surface Force in the world.

“Like other littoral combat ships, Kansas City brings speed and agility to the fleet.”

In December 2017, the US Navy laid keel for the newest Independence-class LCS, the future USS Kansas City (LCS 22), at Austal USA’s shipyard, marking the beginning of the vessel’s construction.