Austal launches US Navy’s future USS Tulsa (LCS 16)

Photo: Austal

Shipbuilder Austal rolled out the U.S. Navy’s future littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16) at its Alabama, Mobile, shipyard on March 15.

After being rolled out of her assembly bay onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock at BAE Shipyard, the trimaran will enter the water on Thursday, March 16, when the drydock is flooded and the ship floats off the blocks.

The Independence-variant ship was earlier christened by the U.S. Navy during a ceremony on February 11.

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 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).

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