MOBILE, Ala., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy authorized the first cutting of aluminum for the sixth littoral combat ship at Austal USA's modular manufacturing facility in Alabama.
The "first cut" signifies the ship's progression from design drawings to the beginning of a tangible form.
"The littoral combat ship is a key part of our future fleet and demands the very best skill and effort from government and industry teams," said Program Executive Officer for Littoral Combat Ships Navy Rear Adm. James Murdoch.
"The commencement of production of LCS 6 marks another significant milestone in the program, and demonstrates the efficiency benefits of our 'block buy' arrangements with the ship builders.
"These fixed-price contracts ensure cost efficiency in the program and best value for the taxpayer."
The LCS is a new breed of U.S. Navy warship. It's fast, agile and modular to operate with focused-mission packages and deploy manned and unmanned vehicles to execute missions as assigned by combatant commanders.
PEO LCS was established July 11 and is an affiliated program executive office of U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command. It provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and maintaining the littoral mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, beginning with procurement and ending with fleet employment and sustainment.