The U.S. Navy held a keel-laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Savannah (LCS 28) at Austal’s state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility in Mobile, Ala., on Sept. 20.
The ship’s sponsor, Dianne Isakson, wife of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, authenticated the keel for the 14th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) during the ceremony, according to a Navy news release.
The LCS is the most advanced high-speed military craft in the world and is intended to operate in coastal areas around the globe. As a key part of the U.S. Navy fleet, they are highly maneuverable and configurable to support mine detection/elimination, anti-submarine, and surface ship warfare.
The trimaran hull form provides the ship with superior seakeeping, fuel efficiency, survivability and the capacity to carry a large, modular cache of weapons packages.
“We are honored to lay the keel of what will one day be a magnificent combat ship that will defend our great country as our Sailors operate her around the globe,” said Capt. Mike Taylor, LCS program manager.
While the keel laying traditionally represents the formal start of a ship’s construction, fabrication of the ship begins months in advance. Today, keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship’s components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.
There are currently four other Independence variant LCSs undergoing construction at Austal USA, with five additional ships in pre-production planning.