The U.S. Navy’s future USS Omaha (LCS 12) and fourth Austal-built littoral combat ship was launched in Mobile, Alabama on November 20.
Omaha was rolled out of her assembly bay at the Austal USA Shipyard onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock at BAE Shipyard on November 19. The ship entered the water on November 20 when the drydock was flooded and the ship floated off the blocks.
The ship will return to Austal’s final assembly pier to continue outfitting, system activation and testing. She is scheduled to be christened on December 19.
Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager said:
That this precisely choreographed launch event has become commonplace in Mobile is a sign of the maturity and stability of the LCS serial production line,”. “I look forward to the future USS Omaha completing the test and trial process en route to delivery to the fleet.
Omaha is the fourth ship in a block buy contract with Austal to build Independence- variant ships. Montgomery (LCS 8) is preparing for builders trials and Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) was christened in June 2015 and is currently completing system testing in preparation for trials.
Manchester (LCS 14) is under construction preparing for an early 2016 launch. Tulsa (LCS 16) will have her keel laid later this year.
The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and 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). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls) and was led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works for LCS 2 and LCS 4.
Purchased under the block-buy acquisition strategy, there are 12 ships currently under construction.