Austal USA has delivered the 11th Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS) to the US Navy during a ceremony at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

The future USS Kansas City (LCS 22) is the first Independence-class LCS delivered by the company this year.

In November 2019, the acceptance trials of LCS 22 were completed. Kansas City will be commissioned later this year.

LCS programme manager captain Mike Taylor said: “This is a tremendous day for the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Kansas City.

“I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this great ship alongside the crew later this year. Kansas City will play an essential role in carrying out our nation’s future maritime strategy.”

Austal USA is currently working on four additional Independence-class LCSs. These include Oakland (LCS 24), Mobile (LCS 26), Savannah (LCS 28) and Canberra (LCS 30).

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In December 2019, the US Navy named LCS Mobile at the Austal USA facility in Alabama.

The company said that four more vessels are yet to enter the construction phase.

Preparations for sea trials of LCS 24 and 26 are underway while the assembly is underway on LCS 28 and LCS 30.

Work on building modules for Santa Barbara (LCS 32) is being carried out at Austal’s module manufacturing facility (MMF).

Austal CEO David Singleton said: “Austal USA’s delivery of the Independence-class LCS programme continues to impress, with quality, cost and productivity improvements being achieved with each new vessel.

“We have now delivered 11 of the 19 Independence-class LCS currently contracted and it’s very pleasing to see more and more of these ships deployed around the world, adding the great capability to the US Navy.”

The company also noted that a new over-the-horizon missile system was integrated on the USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10).

Austal USA has been awarded a contract for the construction of 14 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) for the US Navy.

To date, 11 of these vessels have been delivered, while three are under construction.