MOBILE, Ala. - Austal officials joined Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and the ship sponsor of the future USS Omaha, Susan Buffett, in celebrating the christening of the nation's 12th littoral combat ship (LCS) here on Saturday, Dec. 19.
The Omaha is the fourth LCS in Austal's 10-ship, $3.5 billion block-buy contract. With its shallow draft of 14 feet, the Austal-built Independence-variant LCS is an advanced high-speed and agile 419-foot combat ship designed to operate in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation.
On behalf of Austal's entire shipbuilding team, we are proud to design and build a ship that will carry the great name of Omaha as she defends our nation, said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. Were equally proud to honor a tremendous American in Susan Buffett who has given so much to so many people through her philanthropic work, and now gives her spirit as the sponsor to this amazing ship.
Buffett, a philanthropist and current resident and native of Omaha, will serve as the sponsor to the ship. She chairs of The Sherwood Foundation, The Buffett Early Childhood Fund, and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. She also serves on several national non-profit boards, including ONE, Girls Inc., and the Fulfillment Fund.
According to the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy, (The sponsor) will participate in all or some of the milestones in the life of her ship far beyond participation in ceremonial milestones, sponsorship represents a lifelong relationship with the ship and her crew.
The aluminum hulled trimaran was officially named after Nebraska's largest city during an announcement by Secretary Mabus, Feb. 15, 2012. He said the name was to honor the patriotic, hard-working citizens of Omaha and the state of Nebraska for their support of and contributions to the military. She will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship named Omaha.
The future USS Omaha (LCS 12), launched in November and scheduled for delivery in 2016, has a maximum speed of more than 40 knots. The Independence-variant combines superior seakeeping, endurance, and speed with the volume and payload capacity needed to support emerging missions today and in the future.
Im also proud to honor Austal's workforce today a group of some of the most dedicated and hard-working professionals I have ever worked with, said Perciavalle. Their expertise and commitment to excellence is evident in the construction of these incredible warships.
Austal's LCS program is in full swing with three ships delivered and six ships under construction at this time. Jackson (LCS 6) was delivered this past summer and was recently commissioned in Gulfport, Miss. Montgomery (LCS 8) and Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) are preparing for trials and delivery in 2016. Final assembly is well underway on Manchester (LCS 14) and recently began on Tulsa (LCS 16). Modules for Charleston (LCS 18) are under construction in Austal's Module Manufacturing Facility.
The company has also been contracted by the U.S. Navy to build 10 Expeditionary Fast Transports (EPF), formerly known as the Joint High Speed Vessel. Of the 10 ships included in the $1.6 billion block-buy contract, five have been delivered.
Austal USA operates a full-service shipyard offering design, construction and high-speed vessel service and repair. As Austal continues to expand its service and repair capabilities, the company is well-positioned for new business with advanced engineering, test and trials capabilities, a west coast operations office in San Diego and a state-of-the-art waterfront facility located in the Port of Mobile on Mobile Bay.
About Austal and General Dynamics Mission Systems
Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Mission Systems (GDMS) for the Independence-variant LCS program. General Dynamics is the ship systems integrator, responsible for the design, integration and testing of the navigation, C4I, and aviation systems. Learn more here
Austal is a global defense prime contractor and a designer and manufacturer of defense and commercial ships. For more than 25 years Austal has been a leader in the design, construction and maintenance of revolutionary ships for Governments, Navies and Ferry operators around the world. More than 250 vessels have been delivered in that time.
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