Shipbuilder Austal USA has delivered the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) to the US Navy.
Santa Barbara is the 16th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to be constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.
Littoral combat ships are built to operate in near-shore environments and support forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence missions.
Several Austal USA-built Independence-variant LCS have been deployed to the Western Pacific within the last year, including USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Tulsa (LCS 16) and USS Charleston (LCS 18).
“Austal USA has continued delivering both the LCS and EPF (Expeditionary Fast Transport) programs for the US Navy while also establishing, opening, and now operating, a new steel shipbuilding facility, which is a credit to the entire team,” Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg commented.
Austal USA is currently constructing three 127-meter LCSs, including the recently launched future USS Augusta (LCS 34). Final assembly is underway on the future USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and modules are under construction for the future USS Pierre (LCS 38).
With capabilities focused on defeating global challenges in the littorals, these surface combatants are designed to provide joint force access in the littorals. LCS can operate independently or in high-threat environments as part of a networked battle force that includes multi-mission surface combatants.
Austal USA is also constructing several 103-meter EPF vessels and construction has just begun on the first of two 80 meter, steel Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue ships (T-ATS) for the US Navy.
The company is also under contract to construct a 211-meter auxiliary floating dry dock medium (AFDM) and up to eleven Heritage-class offshore patrol cutters for the US Coast Guard.