Alabama-built future USS Mobile completes Navy acceptance trials
The future USS Mobile (LCS 26) successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico recently, Austal USA announced on Monday.
LCS 26 is the third Austal-built ship for the US Navy to complete acceptance trials this year.
The future USS Mobile was built in its namesake city at Austal’s world-class manufacturing facility; the ship was christened in December 2019 by its sponsor, Rebecca Byrne, the wife of Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01).
Acceptance trials involve the execution of intense comprehensive tests by the Austal USA-led industry team while underway, which demonstrate to the Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment. This is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy.
“I am proud of how the Austal team has come together again, in the middle of this pandemic, only a week after a Cat 2 hurricane made landfall in our backyard, completing another major milestone for one of our Navy ships – especially one so near and dear to us, named after our great city of Mobile, Alabama,” stated Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. “This is proof of what happens when we work together with our Navy teammates to form an incredibly strong team that just gets the job done, and done the right way!”
At 419 feet in length, LCS 26 — an Independence-variant littoral combat ship — has a draft of only 14.4 feet and can reach a sprint speed of over 40 knots.
LCS 26 is capable of operating independently or in a group. This type of Alabama-built ship is designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance along coastal waters, yet also is capable of open-ocean operation. A fast, maneuverable and networked surface-combatant, Independence-variant littoral combat ships provide the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
The company’s LCS program is at full-rate production in Mobile and continuing its momentum, with five ships currently under construction. The future USS Savannah (LCS 28) has launched and is preparing for trials. Final assembly is underway on the future USS Canberra (LCS 30) and USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32). Modules for the future USS Augusta (LCS 34) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility. The future USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38) are also under contract.
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) recently completed a successful deployment with the Pacific fleet and ten other Alabama-built Independence-variant LCS are homeported in San Diego, CA.
LSC 26 will become the fifth USS Mobile of all-time but the first of its name to actually be built in Mobile.
The first USS Mobile was a side-wheel steamer that operated as a Confederate government operated blockade runner. It was captured by US forces at New Orleans in April 1862, commissioned as Tennessee and later renamed Mobile.
The second Mobile was reportedly a passenger liner operated by Hamburg Amerika Lines between Germany and the United States until the outbreak of World War I. It was taken over by the Allied Maritime Council and assigned to the United States after the Armistice and commissioned in March 1919.
The third Mobile (CL 63) was commissioned March 24, 1943. It participated in numerous campaigns in the Pacific during World War II and received 11 battle stars for her service by the time she was decommissioned in May of 1947.
The fourth Mobile (LKA 115) was an amphibious cargo ship that served from September 1969 until decommissioning in February of 1994.
This comes after Austal USA recently announced it has expanded its physical footprint in Mobile, representing a continued and enhanced investment in its Alabama operations.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn