MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) -- The future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) launched from the Austal USA shipyard Aug. 6, marking an important production milestone for the littoral combat ship program.
Montgomery was procured under a block buy contract awarded in December 2010, and will be the second ship named for the capital of Alabama.
"It's exciting to see another Littoral Combat Ship achieve the launch milestone," said Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. "Serial production is in full swing at both building yards, with four LCS scheduled to deliver next year, which is great news for the fleet," Anderson added.
Following the launch, the ship will undergo outfitting, and test and evaluation of its major systems at the Austal shipyard.
The ship's christening, a ceremony that marks the official naming of the vessel, is planned for the winter.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the trimaran design Independence variant, and the monohull design Freedom variant. The ships are designed and built by two industry teams, led by Austal USA and Lockheed Martin, respectively. LCS 8 is the fourth LCS constructed by Austal USA.
Both variants within the LCS class are fast, agile, focused-mission platforms designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open ocean operation. The LCS is designed to embark specialized mission packages to defeat "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface craft.
The Navy has been able to incorporate much of the knowledge gained in the construction, test and operation of LCS 1 and LCS 2, the lead ships of the class, to follow on ships.
Many of those are currently in various stages of construction and will deliver to the Navy over the next few years. They include Montgomery's sister ships Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), Omaha (LCS 12), Manchester (LCS 14) and Tulsa (LCS 16).
Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships is affiliated with the Naval Sea Systems Command and provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, from procurement through fleet employment and sustainment. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.