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|102k||27 May 2004: Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Navy announced today that General Dynamics - Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, will be one of two defense contracting teams
awarded contract options for final system design with options for detail design and construction of up to two Flight 0 Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The LCS is an entirely new breed of U.S.
Navy warship. A fast, agile, and networked surface combatant, LCS's modular, focused-mission design will provide Combatant Commanders the required warfighting capabilities and operational
flexibility to ensure maritime dominance and access for the joint force. LCS will operate with focused-mission packages that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles to execute missions including,
Special Operations Forces (SOF) support, high-speed transit, Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection
(Artist concept provided to the U.S. Navy courtesy of General Dynamics, Photo #040527-O-0000G-004, from the Navy Newstand)
|492k||undated: Mobile, Ala. - An aerial view of the Austal USA shipyard, the American branch of operations for Australian shipbuilder Austal. Founded in 1999 along the west bank of
Blakely Island on the Mobile River in Mobile, Alabama. The shipyard was initially engaged in building high-speed aluminum ferries, such as the Lake Express for service across Lake
Michigan, and the Alakai for Hawaii Superferry. Construction on the first Littoral Combat Ship of the USS Independence variant was begun in 2006. In conjunction with
the General Dynamics Corp., all of the planned Independence Class LCS's will be built here.|
(Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin, Fincantiere Marinette Marine)
|160k||12 May 2016: Mobile, Ala. - Modules for the future USS Charleston (LCS 18) are moved into the final assembly even as the future USS Manchester
(LCS 14) is rolled out.|
(U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Austal USA)
28 June 2016: Mobile, Ala. - A ceremony was hosted to celebrate the keel authentication of future USS Charleston (LCS 18), the ninth Independence variant littoral combat ship.
Charlotte Riley, wife of former Charleston mayor Joseph Riley, serves as the ship's sponsor and honorary member and advocate for the crew. U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
served as the honorary keel authenticator during the ceremony and was present to weld his initials into the keel plate. "The future USS Charleston stands as a testament to the
strong and resilient spirit of her namesake city," said Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. "Once complete, this highly versatile warship will sail the world's seas, carrying
with her the backing of a city steeped in naval history."
(Photo #3 - U.S. Navy photo #160329-N-YE579-001 from the America's Navy, remainder courtesy of Austal USA)
|341k||26 August 2017: Mobile, Ala. - Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer delivers remarks during the christening ceremony for the littoral combat ship USS Charleston
(LCS 18) at the Austal USA shipyard. Spencer is in the area to view the ongoing shipyard work at Austal USA and meet sailors and civilian employees who support the Navy.
(U.S. Navy photo #170826-N-LV331-008 by MC1 Armando Gonzales from the Navy Newstand)
Lcdr., USN (ret.)
|335k||26 August 2017: Mobile, Ala. - Ship's sponsor Charlotte Riley breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow during the christening ceremony for the littoral combat ship USS
Charleston (LCS 18). At the ceremony, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer gave the principal address. Spencer is in the area to view the ongoing shipyard work at Austal
USA and meet sailors and civilian employees who support the Navy.|
(U.S. Navy photo #170826-N-LV331-009 by MC1 Armando Gonzales from the Navy Newstand)
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13 - 14 September 2017: Mobile, Ala. - On 13 September we see the future USS Charleston (LCS 18) being rolled out of the fabrication shed onto a barge.
The barge will transport it downriver to the BAE Systems yard where she'll be transferred to a floating drydock. On the 14th, she'll be floated out of the drydock
and towed back to the Austal yard upriver.
(Photos courtesy of Austal USA)
18 July 2018: the Gulf of Mexico - Five views of PCU Charleston (LCS 18) on builders acceptance trials. Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone
before the ship is delivered to the Navy. During trials, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the future USS Charleston to demonstrate the performance
of the propulsion plant, ship handling abilities and auxiliary systems. While underway, the ship successfully demonstrated her bow thruster, twin boom extensible
crane operations with the 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat, completed surface and air self-defense detect-to-engage exercises and demonstrated the ship's handling
and maneuverability through high-speed steering and operation of her anchor. Following delivery, Charleston will undergo a post-delivery availability that includes
crew training, certifications and familiarization exercises in Mobile.
(Photos courtesy of Austal USA)
Lcdr., USN (ret.)
|View the USS Charleston (LCS 18) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
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Page Last Updated: 06 March 2019