The US Navy has taken delivery of its 17th Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS) from Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.
The turnover of USS Augusta (LCS 34) follows the completion of its acceptance trials in March, in which the vessel’s major capabilities and equipment were evaluated for mission readiness.
The ship will be introduced to the US Navy fleet in the fall of 2023. Following the commissioning, Augusta will be homeported in San Diego, California.
The LCS 34 is the second ship to bear the name of Maine’s capital city.
The retired USS Augusta (SSN 710) was a Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine that served for over two decades until retirement in February 2009.
“The delivery of the future USS Augusta marks a noteworthy milestone in the life of this ship and forges a great connection to the citizens of Maine, a state with a long history of shipbuilding,” LCS Program Manager Capt. Andy Gold stated.
“I look forward to seeing the future USS Augusta and her sailors bring critical capability to the fleet.”
US Navy’s Growing LCS Fleet
The US Navy LCS platform is a mission-focused surface vessel developed for near-shore operations.
Each LCS ship is capable of open-ocean missions and integrated with capabilities that match 21st-century coastal threats, including swarming small crafts and sea mines.
The platforms are commonly deployed for maritime security, forward presence, sea dominance, and related deterrence missions.
The USS Augusta is the second LCS delivered to the navy this year after the Freedom-class USS Marinette (LCS 25) in February.
Two Independence variants remain under construction at Austal, including the recently-christened USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38).