MOBILE, Ala. – The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Mobile (LCS 26) during a ceremony at Austal USA on Dec. 9.
Mobile is the 23rd littoral combat ship (LCS) and the 13th of the Independence variant to join the fleet. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder, Austal USA, to the Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for spring 2021.
“This is a day of celebration for both the Navy and our country with the delivery of the future USS Mobile,” said LCS program manager Capt. Mike Taylor. “This ship, and her crew, are foundational to our nation’s security.”
Four additional Independence-variant ships - Savannah (LCS 28), Canberra (LCS 30), Santa Barbara (LCS 32), and Augusta (LCS 34) - are in various stages of construction at Austal USA, and two more are awaiting the start of construction following LCS 34.
The future USS Mobile is the fifth ship named in honor of the port city on Alabama's Gulf Coast. The first Mobile was a side-wheel steamer that operated as a Confederate government-operated blockade runner. It was captured by U.S. forces at New Orleans in April 1862, commissioned as Tennessee and later renamed Mobile. The second Mobile was a passenger liner operated by Hamburg Amerika Lines between Germany and the United States until the outbreak of World War I. It was taken over by the Allied Maritime Council and assigned to the United States after the Armistice and commissioned March 1919. The third Mobile (CL 63), a cruiser, was commissioned March 24, 1943. It participated in numerous campaigns in the Pacific Theater during World War II and received 11 battle stars for her service by the time she was decommissioned May 1947. The fourth Mobile (LKA 115) was an amphibious cargo ship that served from September 1969 until decommissioning in February 1994.
The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.
The LCS class consists of the Independence variant, built by Austal USA, and the Freedom variant, which is being built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wis.
The future USS Mobile is the fourth LCS of both variants delivered to the Navy in 2020. St. Louis (LCS 19) was delivered on Feb. 6, Kansas City (LCS 22) was delivered on Feb. 12, and Oakland (LCS 24) was delivered on June 26. Five more — Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS 21), Cooperstown (LCS 23), Marinette (LCS 25), Savannah (LCS 28), and Canberra (LCS 30) — are planned for delivery in 2021.