The Navy will christen its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, Dec. 7, in Mobile, Alabama.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, representing Alabama’s first district, will deliver the christening ceremony's principal address. His wife, Rebecca Byrne, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of South Alabama, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Rebecca Byrne will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.
''USS Mobile is a marvel of engineering,'' said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. ''She will extend our capabilities for any mission, from the middle of the ocean to the shallowest of waters, enhancing our ability to project power ashore and at sea. This Independence-class LCS will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world.''
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The ship integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
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 in Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
LCS 26 is the 13th Independence-variant LCS and the 26th in the class. It is the fifth ship named in honor of the port city on Alabama's Gulf Coast.