Alabama shipbuilder Austal christens 14th littoral combat ship
The future USS Savannah (LCS 28) was christened this past weekend at Austal USA’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama.
Savannah is the 14th of 19 Independence-variant littoral combat ship that Austal has under contract with the United States Navy.
“Austal is honored to christen today what will be the sixth Navy ship named after the great city of Savannah,” stated Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle.
“Savannah and Mobile have much in common both being major U.S. shipping ports but we also share the distinction of being cities where the infamous World War II Liberty ships were built. These were the last Navy ships built in Mobile prior to the littoral combat ships we are building here now,” he continued.
The type of LCS produced by Austal is the most recent step in the small surface combatant evolution. A high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant, the ship is designed to conduct surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral near-shore region, while also possessing the capability for deep-water operations. With its open-architecture design, the LCS can support modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to capture and sustain littoral maritime supremacy.
“Manufacturing complex small surface combatants efficiently at the fast pace we have established is no small feat,” explained Perciavalle. “We have one of the most talented manufacturing workforces employed today and I am proud to work side-by-side with each and every member of our awesome team as we christen the 25th surface ship since 2011.”
The Savannah’s sponsor, Dianne Isakson, is the daughter of a World War II naval aviator and sister to two brothers who both served in the Navy. She is married to former U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia.
“We are honored to host Mrs. Isakson as the ship’s sponsor,” concluded Perciavalle. “Her ties to the Navy through her father and brothers along with the time she has committed to raising a family and supporting her husband, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, is commendable and makes her the perfect choice as sponsor of this awesome combat ship.”
In addition to being in full-rate production for the LCS program, Austal is also the Navy’s prime contractor for the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) program. Austal has delivered 12 EPF, with two more under contract. The company is also leading the evolution of connector and auxiliary ships as Austal EPF designs for dedicated medical, maintenance, logistics, and command and control ships continue to impress American fleet commanders.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn