Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that the next two Freedom-class littoral combat ships (LCS) to be built in Alabama will be named the USS Jackson and the USS Montgomery.
These two ships are part of a dual block buy of LCS class ships announced by Mabus in December 2010. By procuring both versions of the LCS -- Lockheed Martin’s semiplaning monohull and Austal USA’s aluminum trimaran -- the Navy can stabilize the LCS program and the industrial base with an award of 20 ships; increase ship procurement rate to support operational requirements; sustain competition through the program; and enhance foreign military sales opportunities. Both designs meet the Navy’s LCS requirement. However, the diversity provided by two designs provides operational flexibility.
The selection of Jackson, designated LCS 6, honors the great state capitol Jackson, Miss. This is the first ship to bear the city’s name.
The selection of Montgomery, the capitol of Alabama, designated LCS 8, honors Montgomery, Ala. This is the second ship to bear the city’s name.
Jackson and Montgomery will be designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal waters. A fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.
Jackson and Montgomery will be 419 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 103 feet, displace approximately 3,000 tons, and will make speed in excess of 40 knots.
Construction of Jackson and Montgomery will be by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.
Additional information about Freedom class Littoral Combat Ships is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1650&ct=4.
CORRECTION: March 30, 2011 -- Austal USA is corrected from Austal Shipbuilding, and from General Dynamic as the designer and builder of aluminum trimaran.