“Recent maritime events have clearly validated the need for the US Navy to have the capabilities offered by LCS. We’re proud to be playing an important role in fulfilling that need,” said Jeff Geiger, president of Bath Iron Works. “Our team is ready to apply the lessons we’ve learned during the construction of Independence (LCS 2) to help make Coronado the most-affordable, most-effective LCS it can be.”
The ship’s open architecture computing environment – another key factor in meeting the US Navy’s requirements for a flexible, reconfigurable mission ship – enables industry’s most capable, affordable, non-proprietary solutions to be incorporated into the its core mission system.
“With the US Navy’s ongoing commitment to a 55-vessel LCS program, as part of its 313 ship fleet, we are confident that our superior design and purpose-built US construction facilities put us in a good position to meet this important requirement.”
Browning said momentum generated by the latest LCS order and the recent JHSV award will accelerate the growth of the company’s US operations, which now plans to increase its workforce to more than 1300 when the LCS gets into full production next year.
Sea trials of Austal’s first LCS, the 127 metre “Independence” (LCS 2), are scheduled for mid-2009, with delivery expected later in the year. The vessel was officially christened in front of more than 1000 dignitaries during a ceremony held at Austal USA in October 2008.
(Editorial note: The LCS concept is similar to the SA Navy’s large “project Biro” OPV requirement.)