The future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) launched from the Austal USA shipyard Aug. 6, marking an important production milestone for the littoral combat ship program.
This vessel is the second of ten 127-meter Independence-variant LCS class ships Austal has been contracted to build for the U.S. Navy as prime contractor subsequent to a $3.5 billion block buy in 2010.
“It’s exciting to see another Littoral Combat Ship achieve the launch milestone,” said Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. “Serial production is in full swing at both building yards, with four LCS scheduled to deliver next year, which is great news for the fleet,” Anderson added.
Following the launch, the ship will undergo outfitting, and test and evaluation of its major systems at the Austal shipyard.
The ship’s christening ceremony is planned for the winter.
The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. The LCS is designed to embark specialized mission packages to defeat “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface craft.
The Navy has been able to incorporate much of the knowledge gained in the construction, test and operation of LCS 1 and LCS 2, the lead ships of the class, to follow on ships.
Many of those are currently in various stages of construction and will deliver to the Navy over the next few years. They include Montgomery’s sister ships Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), Omaha (LCS 12), Manchester (LCS 14) and Tulsa (LCS 16).