US shipbuilder Austal hosted a keel-laying ceremony for the future littoral combat ship USS Savannah (LCS 28) at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, on September 20.
Savannah is the 14th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS).
“We are honored to lay the keel of what will one day be a magnificent combat ship that will defend our great country as our sailors operate her around the globe,” said Capt. Mike Taylor, LCS program manager.
While the keel laying traditionally represents the formal start of a ship’s construction, fabrication of the ship begins months in advance. Today, keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship’s components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.
There are currently four other Independence variant LCSs undergoing construction at Austal USA, with five additional ships in pre-production planning.
The Independence variant LCS are based on a trimaran hull design, displacing 3,200 tons and measuring 127.4 meters in length. They are designed to reach speeds of 40+ knots.