The US Navy has commissioned Austal’s newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Manchester.
ADM William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Ship’s sponsor Senator Jeanne Shaheen, as per US Navy tradition, gave the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
“The future USS Manchester is a modern marvel and an example of the increased capability that comes from a true partnership with industry,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer. “The ship honours the city of Manchester and the patriotic citizens of New Hampshire for their support to our military, and I cannot wait to see the amazing things the crew will accomplish.”
The LCS-class consists of the Independence and Freedom variants, designed and built by two industry teams. The future USS Manchester, designated LCS 14, is the twelfth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the seventh of the Independence-variant design. The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA, a subsidiary of the Australian parent company (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered ships).
The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered ships).
Twenty-nine LCS ships have been awarded to date: 13 have been delivered to the Navy, another 13 are in various stages of construction and testing, and three are in pre-production states.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in littoral seas. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas.
Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems, and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain, and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides joint force access to critical areas in multiple theatres.
“The future USS Manchester is an example of the increased capability that comes from a true partnership with industry”