The US Navy has accepted the delivery of an Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS) equipped with stealth technology.
The vessel, to be named USS Oakland, is the latest addition to the American LCS fleet; it is designed to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface craft.
The US Navy said in a press release that the delivery ceremony took place at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama on Friday.
The ceremony marked “the official transfer” of the vessel “from the shipbuilder to the Navy”, becoming “the final milestone prior to its [ship’s] scheduled commissioning in early 2021”, according to the press release.
@Austal_USA delivered USS #OAKLAND LCS24 to the US #Navy 26 June, officially making 300 ships in the battle force. She's the 22nd littoral combat ship and 12th ship of the Independence-class to enter service. 2nd of 3 LCSs coming in 2020 from Austal https://t.co/Up7VuUvQB8 pic.twitter.com/eYhpdtN8dF— Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) June 26, 2020
“This is a great day for the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Oakland. This ship will play an essential role in carrying out our nation’s future maritime strategy”, LCS programme manager Captain Mike Taylor emphasised.
Littoral combat ships are relatively small vessels designed for both offensive and defensive manoeuvres in shallow waters near land, while also having the ability to project naval power in open seas.
The US Navy reportedly expects to receive between 55 and 60 such ships to replace the existing Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates and the Osprey and Avenger-class minesweepers, which are entering the end of their lifespans.