Richard Spencer, secretary of the Navy, will deliver the principal address at the ceremony while Charlotte Riley, ship sponsor and wife of former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, will break a bottle of wine across the ship’s bow to mark the christening.
“Charleston, like the other ships in the LCS program, is going to be highly maneuverable, able to operate where other ships cannot, and will project power through forward presence,” Spencer said.
The future USS Charleston is designed for operation in both near-shore environments and the open ocean as part of operations to defeat asymmetric anti-access threats such as mines.
LCS-18 has a length of 418 feet and a speed of at least 40 knots and runs on two gas turbines, two diesel engines, four steerable waterjets and one steerable thruster.
The Independence-variant ship, which is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, is named after the second biggest city in South Carolina and is the sixth U.S. ship to bear the name Charleston.