MOBILE, Alabama – The U.S. Navy held a keel laying ceremony for the future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) at the Austal USA shipyard Jan. 11.
Mrs. Kathy Taylor, Tulsa’s sponsor and herself a former mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma, authenticated the ship's keel. As the ship's sponsor, Taylor serves as an advocate for and honorary member of the crew.
“Through this new warship and the name she bears, we honor a city that represents the very best of the American spirit,” said Ed Foster, LCS deputy program manager. “We set forth the Tulsa armed with the most adaptive and effective capabilities, designed to protect freedom and democracy throughout the world.”
The littoral combat ship class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for the even-numbered hulls). LCS 16 is the eighth Independence-variant and will be approximately 418 feet in length and have a width of nearly 104 feet.
Both variants are being purchased under an innovative block-buy acquisition strategy. There are currently 12 LCSs under construction.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.