The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), launched from the Austal USA shipyard Feb. 25, marking an important production milestone for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.
The ship is named after former United States Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. LCS 10 will be the 16th U.S. naval ship to be named for a woman, and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850.
Gabrielle Giffords was rolled out of her assembly bay onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock Feb. 24. The ship entered the water for the first time the following day when the drydock was flooded for the ship launch. The ship will return to the shipyard to continue final outfitting and activation until her christening later this year. She is expected to deliver to the fleet in 2017.
Gabrielle Giffords is the third ship in a block buy contract with Austal to build 10 Independence- variant LCS ships. Sister ship Jackson (LCS 6) is preparing for builder’s trials, and Montgomery (LCS 8) was christened in November 2014. The LCS program is ramping up in 2015 to deliver two ships per year from the Austal shipyard, as well as two Freedom-variant ships from the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin.