US Navy has commissioned future USS Mobile LCS 26 Independence-variant littoral combat ship

US Navy has commissioned future USS Mobile LCS 26 Independence-variant littoral combat ship

The Independence class is a class of littoral combat ships built for the United States Navy.

According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the US Navy has commissioned its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), on Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Mobile, Alabama.

The USS Mobile (LCS 26) is an Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) built by the Austal USA. She was christened on December 7, 2019, and delivered to the U.S. Navy on December 9, 2020. In October 2020, the future USS Mobile has successfully concluded its acceptance trial in the Gulf of Mexico on September 25 after a series of in-port and underway demonstrations. The U.S. Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the Independence-variant littoral combat ship’s systems during the trial, spanning multiple functional areas including main propulsion, auxiliaries, and electrical systems.

Four additional Independence-variant LCS ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile. The final assembly is well underway on Savannah (LCS 28). The modules for Canberra (LCS 30) are erected. Additionally, Austal is fabricating modules for Santa Barbara (LCS 32) and fabrication has started on Augusta (LCS 34). Kingsville (LCS 36) and Pierre (LCS 38) will begin fabrication in 2021.

The LCS class consists of two ship variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Independence-variant is an aluminum trimaran design originally built by an industry team led by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works for LCS 2 and LCS 4. Currently, Independence-variant LCS (LCS 6 and subsequent even-numbered hulls) are constructed by Austal USA in the company’s Mobile, Alabama, shipyard.

The Independence-variant is a highly maneuverable, lethal, and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine, and surface warfare missions. She integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future missions, from deep water to the littorals.

The USS Mobile has a length of 127.4 m, a beam of 31.6 m, and a draft of 4.96 m. The displacement is rated at 2,307 tons light, 3,104 tons full, and 797 tons deadweight. The ship is powered by two gas turbines, two diesel engines, four waterjets, a retractable Azimuth thruster, and four diesel generators. She can reach a top speed of 40 knots (74 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 4,300 nautical miles (8,000 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h). She has a crew of 40 people including eight officers and 32 enlisted.

The USS Mobile is armed with one BAE Systems Mk 110 57 mm naval gun, four .50 cal (12.7 mm) heavy machine guns, Evolved SeaRAM 11 cell surface-to-air missile launcher, and Mission modules.

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