Austal has delivered its latest Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Gabrielle Giffords, to the Navy.
The Australian-based shipbuilder and defense contractor announced the new warship was handed over to the Navy last week. It’s the fifth vessel of its kind built by Austal; seven more are currently under construction in Mobile.
The commander of the Littoral Combat Ship squadron, Captain Jordy Harrison, says the ship will join other LCS ships in San Diego next year to undergo testing and training for eventual deployment.
The ship has drawn some special attention due to its namesake. Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and gravely injured in an assassination attempt in 2011. U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says since her name has become synonymous with courage and resilience, she makes the perfect namesake for the ship.
Two more LCS ships, the Omaha and Manchester, will undergo testing next year. Another, the Tulsa, is scheduled to be christened next year. Five more ships, the Charleston, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Oakland and Mobile, are in various stages of development at the Austal shipyard in Mobile.