MOBILE, Ala., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy reports that is has held a keel-laying ceremony for an Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Tulsa.
The ceremony was held at the shipyard of Austal USA earlier this week.
"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."
Littoral Combat Ships come in two variants: Freedom and Independence. The future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) is the eighth Independence variant. It will be about 418 feet in length. Like its Freedom sisters, it is modular and can be quickly be reconfigured with various weapon systems -- surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare -- depending on need.
Both variants are being purchased under an innovative block-buy acquisition strategy. There are currently 12 LCSs under construction.