Austal USA, the American branch of Australia-based ship building giant Austal, has just launched the fourth Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS). The vessel was transported by barge down the Mobile River until it reached a floating BAE Systems dry dock, at which point it was floated off. Once the shipped has been christened and tested, it will join its sister ships in San Diego. In fact, 16 of the first 24 Independence-class LCS vessels will be based out of San Diego. Look for the future USS Omaha to join the Navy fleet at some point in 2016.

The Australian Air Warfare Destroyer project will deliver three world-class ships and their support systems to the Royal Australian Navy which promises to deliver an effective, flexible and sustainable Air Warfare Destroyer capability for the security of Australia. The project is being supported under an Alliance contract arrangement between the Commonwealth of Australia (represented by the Defence Materiel Organisation) as owner-participant, ASC and Raytheon Australia.

After seven years of construction and constant delays, the US Navy's DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyer will finally be undergoing initial sea trials in the next couple of months.

Finmeccanica and Fincantieri have teamed up and secured a contract from the Italian Navy to add an extra ship to its contract for multi-mission vessels from Italian industry-taking the total contract order to seven ships. The original six-ship order, signed in May, envisaged four options. The seventh vessel constituted one of the options, but would be built at the same time as the original orders, the firms said.

Defense and security company Saab has recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Naval Shipyard S.A. in Gdynia, Poland. The new contract lays the groundwork for a close cooperation to jointly provide naval solutions for the Polish Navy’s Orka submarine program under the order of the Polish Ministry of National Defence. The Orka submarine project will see the construction of several new classes of ships, as well as plans to obtain three submarines. The new submarines will replace the Polish Navy’s aging fleet of Kobben-class boats and single Project 877E submarine ORP Orzel.

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