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U.S. Navy to christen littoral combat ship USS Tulsa

By Ryan Maass
U.S. Navy to christen littoral combat ship USS Tulsa
The U.S. Navy is set to christen its latest Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Tulsa. Pictured, USS Tulsa's sister ship, the USS Independence. U.S. Navy photo by Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Nicholas Kontodiakos

Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy is set to christen its latest Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Tulsa during a ceremony in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday.

USS Tulsa, named after the city Oklahoma, will be christened during a ceremony featuring Adm. William F. Moran, vice naval operations chief, as the event's principal speaker. Navy officials say the christening will serve a tribute to the branch's industry partners.

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"Our nation can be proud of this crew as they ready the ship to represent the city of Tulsa and the United States, around the world for years to come," acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley said in a press release.

As the latest addition to the Navy's littoral combat ship fleet, Tulsa will be used to project power in off-shore locations, and engage a variety of threats including naval mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface raft. The Austal-made ship is also fitted to perform open-ocean missions.

The Navy operates two variants of littoral combat ships, with the Freedom class constructed by Lockheed Martin and the Independence class built by Austal.

In addition to combat operations, the vessels are also designed to perform humanitarian assistance, disaster response and search-and rescue missions.

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