MOBILE, Ala. – The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Canberra (LCS 30) Dec. 21 at Austal USA in Mobile.
Canberra is the second ship to honor the loss of the Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra during the Battle of Savo Island in World War II, and is the 15th Independence-variant LCS and the 26th LCS to join the Fleet. Canberra completed Acceptance Trials with the Board of Inspection and Survey in November, the final milestone prior to her official transfer from the shipbuilder, Austal USA, to the Navy. Commissioning, which is the act of placing a warship into active Navy service, is planned for summer 2022.
“The delivery of the future USS Canberra to the Navy marks a significant milestone in the life of a ship,” said LCS Program Manager Capt. Andy Gold. “I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of Canberra and commemorating the heritage of her namesake forbearers after she departs from Austal and embarks upon her post-delivery test and trials period.”
Four additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA. The future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32), Augusta (LCS 34), and Kingsville (LCS 36) are all in varying stages of construction. Fabrication has started on the last programmed LCS, Pierre (LCS 38).
The first Canberra (CA 70/CAG 2) was a Baltimore-class cruiser and later a Boston-class guided-missile cruiser of the U.S. Navy. The ship entered service in 1943 and served in the Pacific theater during World War II until she was torpedoed during the Aerial Battle of Taiwan-Okinawa and forced to return to the United States for repairs. After the war, Canberra was placed in reserve for conversion into the U.S. Navy’s second guided missile-carrying warship. Following the conversion, she was host to the ceremony for selecting the Unknown Soldier representing World War II in 1958, undertook an eight-month round-the-world cruise in 1960, participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis naval blockade in 1962, and was deployed to the Vietnam War on five occasions between 1965 and 1969. Canberra was decommissioned in 1970.
The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused warship designed to operate in near-shore environments, while also capable of open-ocean tasking and defeating 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 future USS Canberra is the third LCS delivered to the Navy in 2021. USS Savannah (LCS 28) was delivered June 25, and USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) was delivered Nov. 18.