The US Navy has laid the keel for its future littoral combat ship (LCS 20) USS Cincinnati at Austal USA's shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, marking the beginning of vessel's construction.
Former US Commerce Secretary and sponsor of the ship Penny Pritzker authenticated the keel for the tenth Independence-variant LCS during the ceremony.
LCS Seaframe programme manager representative navy commander Chris Addington said: “Through the hard work and dedication of the men and women of Austal, this keel will be built up to a highly capable navy ship.
“Thanks to all of you for your efforts to complete a great ship that will exemplify its namesake city.”
USS Cincinnati will have a length of approximately 418ft and an estimated width of 104ft. The ship is a modular, reconfigurable vessel, designed to host interchangeable mission packages onto the seaframe in support of surface warfare, mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare.
The US Navy’s LCS class comprises two variants, Freedom and Independence; the Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin, while the Independence variant is led by Austal USA. There currently 13 LCSs under construction.
The US Navy successfully laid the keel for its fifteenth LCS, the future Freedom-variant USS Billings, at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin in November 2015.