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Austal USA delivers Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship LCS 26 USS Mobile to US Navy.

| 2020

According to a press release published on December 8, 2020, Austal USA has delivered the Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), to the U.S. Navy from the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 LCS 26, the future USS Mobile, is seen during acceptance trials in September 2020. (Thigpen Photography/Courtesy of Austal USA)

In October 2020, it was announced that the future USS Mobile (LCS 26) Independence-class littoral combat ship for the U.S. navy has successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Independence-variant LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) is a high-speed, shallow-draft, focused-mission ship capable of operating independently or in a group. These ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance along coastal waters, yet capable of open-ocean operation. A fast, maneuverable and networked surface-combatant, LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare. USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) recently completed a successful deployment with the Pacific fleet and ten other Independence-variant LCS are homeported in San Diego.

The LCS program is at full-rate production and continuing its momentum at Austal USA, with five ships currently under construction including Mobile. 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 the module manufacturing facility.

The Independence-class is an aluminum trimaran design originally built by an industry team led by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works for LCS 2 and LCS 4. the ship is powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system including two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, two MTU Friedrichshafen 20V 8000 Series diesel engines, and two American VULKAN lightweight multiple-section carbon fiber propulsion shaftlines. She can reach a top speed of 44 knots (51 mph; 81 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 4,300 nautical miles (7,964 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h).

The Independence-class LCS has a length of 127m, a beam of 32 m, and a displacement of 2,307 metric tons. The maximum endurance of the ship is 14 days.

The Independence-class LCS is armed with one BAE Systems Mk 110 57 mm naval gun, one Raytheon SeaRAM CIWS CloseIn Weapon System, four .50-cal machine guns, two 30 mm Mk44 Bushmaster II automatic cannons (part of SUW module), eight RGM-184A anti-ship Naval Strike Missiles, 24 AGM-114L Hellfire air-to-surface missiles (SUW vertical launch module). The ship can accommodate 1 MH-60R/S Seahawk naval helicopter as well as two MQ-8B Fire Scouts or one MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter VTOL drones.

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