US Navy to christen LCS 16

Photo: US Navy

U.S. Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, USS Tulsa (LCS 16), during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony Saturday, Feb. 11th, in Mobile, Alabama.

Tulsa, designated LCS 16, honors the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Adm. William F. Moran, vice chief of naval operations, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Kathy Taylor, former mayor of Tulsa, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by Taylor observing a time-honored Navy tradition of breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship.

“The christening of the future USS Tulsa serves as a tribute to the extraordinary work done by our nation’s shipbuilders and brings this great ship one step closer to joining our fleet,” said the Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy. “Our nation can be proud of this crew as they ready the ship to represent the city of Tulsa and the United States, around the world for years to come.”

The future USS Tulsa is the second U.S. Navy ship to be named in honor of the city of Tulsa. The first USS Tulsa was an Asheville-class gunboat designated as PG-22 that served from 1923 to 1944 before being renamed Tacloban. She earned two battle stars for World War II service. A cruiser to be named USS Tulsa was also authorized for construction during World War II, but the contract was canceled before it was built.

The future USS Tulsa is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant – designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1) while the Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

Each LCS seaframe is outfitted with a single mission package made up of mission modules containing warfighting systems and support equipment. A dedicated ship crew will combine with aviation assets to deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions.

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