General Dynamics, Austal Launch Third Littoral Combat Ship; Mike Tweed-Kent Comments

U.S. Navy photo

General Dynamics and Austal USA-built  U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship completed its launch on Dec. 14, 2013 as part of a $3.5 billion 10-ship order made in 2010.

The company developed the initial 127-meter USS Jackson with systems integrator General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems with an aim to create a vessel for open-ocean and near-shore operations, General Dynamics said Tuesday.

“The launch of the third Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship marks a significant milestone in this program,” said Mike Tweed-Kent, vice president and general manager of the Mission Integration Systems division at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

Craig Perciavalle, president of Austal USA, said the company aims to develop warships for the LCS program that are designed with cutting edge technology, high quality and cost-effective work.

The vessel was built at Austal’s new Bay 5 assembly hall and was launched through a multi-step procedure.

The ship was first lifted with Berard Transportation‘s self-propelled modular transporters to a deck barge that towed the Jackson to the Southeast Shipyard of BAE Systems.

The 1,600-metric-ton ship was then moved to Drydock Alabama, BAE’s floating dry dock, and then submerged in water for the first time.

The LCS 6 was towed back to Austal’s facility for remaining activation and outfitting prior to sea evaluation and transfer to the Navy.

Austal is currently working on four vessels for the program including the Coronado, Montgomery, Omaha and Gabrielle Gifford.

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