US Navy christens USS Tulsa

The U.S. Navy christened littoral combat ship number 16 with the christening of the Independence-variant ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16).

The ceremony took place on February 11 at Austal’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard.

Designated LCS 16, the ship honors the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Adm. William F. Moran, vice chief of naval operations, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Kathy Taylor, former mayor of Tulsa, served as the ship’s sponsor.

“The christening of the future USS Tulsa serves as a tribute to the extraordinary work done by our nation’s shipbuilders and brings this great ship one step closer to joining our fleet,” said the Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy. “Our nation can be proud of this crew as they ready the ship to represent the city of Tulsa and the United States, around the world for years to come.”

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).