Austal has delivered its eighth Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to the U.S. Navy.
The future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) is the second Austal designed and built LCS delivered to the Navy this year and will be the thirteenth LCS to enter the fleet.
The new ship’s delivery follows its successful acceptance trial in the Gulf of Mexico in March.
“The Austal team is excited to deliver another of these incredible ships to the US Navy. We are proud to be able to administer this program with efficiency and reliability,” Austal CEO, David Singleton said.
“The maturity and success of the LCS program is a direct result of the dedication and skill of the Austal employees, and the technology we have invested in Mobile in our next generation shipbuilding facility.”
“The advanced production process we have developed at Mobile is allowing us to roll out ships from the assembly bays one after the other in such quick succession offering a huge competitive advantage for Austal to be able to support the US Navy’s fleet expansion to 355 ships” Mr Singleton said.
Tulsa is also planning to deliver the future USS Manchester (LCS 14) commissioning in New Hampshire at the end of May.
Five LCS remain under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. Charleston (LCS 18) is preparing for sea trials. Assembly is underway on Cincinnati (LCS 20) and Kansas City (LCS 22) and modules for Oakland (LCS 24) and Mobile (LCS 26) are under construction. Construction on LCS 28, recently named Savannah, is to begin later this year.
Austal is also under contract to build 12 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) for the U.S. Navy. The company has delivered nine EPFs while an additional three are in various stages of construction.