MOBILE, Ala., April 18 (UPI) -- A keel laying ceremony for the U.S. Navy’s 10th littoral combat ship was held earlier this week by the Navy and Austal USA.
The ship is the fifth Independence-class LCS that will be built by Austal. Keel laying signifies the formal start of building the future USS Gabrielle Giffords.
“This is an important milestone for the Navy,” said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer, Littoral Combat Ships. “I look forward to closely following the completion of the future USS Gabrielle Giffords, as well as her sister ships, as we bring this tremendous capability to the fleet.”
LCS is a new class of U.S. Navy warship, primarily for operations in coastal waters. The Independence-class ships are of a trimaran design. They are 420 feet long, have a waterline beam of about 103 feet and have a speed of more than 40 knots.
The ship – the 16th Navy ship named for a woman – will be delivered to the Navy by Austal in 2017. It is named for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.