April 21 (UPI) -- The future USS Mobile, the U.S. Navy's next Independence-class littoral combat ship, will be commissioned on May 27, the Navy announced on Wednesday.
The ceremony, restricted because of COVID-19 concerns but scheduled to be livestreamed, will be held in Mobile, Ala., where the ship was built by Austal USA.
The vessel will be the 13th Independence variant in the Navy fleet.
Littoral combat ships are fast, agile, focused-mission platforms designed for operation in near-shore environments but capable of open-ocean operation, Austral USA said.
Primarily, they are designed to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, submarines and fast surface craft.
The Navy employs Freedom-class LCS, with steel monohull design and an aluminum superstructure, and Independence-class variants, which feature a trimaran design.
The 418 foot-long USS Mobile will carry a crew of 40, with available space for a mission crew of 35. Standard armaments on the vessles includes a Mk110 57 mm gun, a Raytheon SeaRAM anti-missile defense system and Naval Strike and Hellfire vertical launch missiles.
"We are refining the LCS class lethality and global sustainment infrastructure to better harness the versatility these ships bring to the Surface Force," Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener, commander of the Naval Surface Force in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said in a press release.
"Mobile is entering the fleet at a prime time in the LCS progression, as we implement lessons learned from other LCS deployers," Kitchener said.
In July 2020, the Navy announced it will retire the USS Freedom and the USS Coronado, the first Freedom-class LCS, as well as the USS Independence and USS Fort Worth, the first Independence-class ships, in 2021 to save on modernization efforts.
The vessels were the Navy's first four littoral combat ships. The USS Freedom was commissioned in 2008, the USS Independence in 2010, the USS Fort Worth in 2012 and the USS Coronado in 2014.
"We're especially excited for Mobile to join the fleet to pay tribute to a great community which has contributed to our success in so many ways over the years," Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said in a statement.
The future USS Mobile will use Naval Station San Diego as its initial homeport.
Four additional Freedom-class ships, and seven Independence-class ships, are also under construction or planned.