The United States Navy has named the new Austal-built Independence-class littoral combat ship (LCS) the USS Kansas City, according to Navy Secretary Ray Maybus.
The littoral combat ship is a versatile vessel, capable of being used for many different missions. As a “fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions in areas such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare,” according to the US Department of Defense.
It’s essentially a giant armored ship that looks like a Star Destroyer from The Empire Strikes Back. A picture of the ship was revealed before a Kansas City Royals game (against the Pittsburgh Pirates, no less) by Secretary Maybus and Kansas City Mayor Sly James.
USS Kansas City is designed to overcome growing littoral threats and provide access and an overwhelming presence in the coastal waters, in addition to the Department of Defense’s maritime plans. The ship is big, but quick - 419 feet long and has a cruising speed of over 40k. Other general characteristics include:
Height: 103.7 ft.
Beam: 103.7 ft.
Displacement: Approximately 2,100 MT full load
Draft: 14.4 ft.
This is actually the second time the Navy has named a ship the USS Kansas City. The other one was a replenishment oiler that was decommissioned in 1994 after a long career, including serving in the Vietnam War.
The Navy is hoping for about fifty more of these large ships, which would run the bill to nearly $40 billion. They will be built in Mobile, Alabama by Austal USA.
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