With the U.S. Navy funding construction of the future USS Omaha (LCS 12), Austal USA, the vessel’s builder, invited the citizens of Omaha to join in as their naval namesake takes shape on the Mobile, Alabama, waterfront.
The next USS Omaha will be an Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a highly-utilizable, 3,000 ton modular naval combatant. This aluminum trimaran will be built by an Austal USA-led team, which will support the U.S. fleet as America confronts new 21st Century threats at sea.
Austal USA President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Rella welcomed the opportunity to reach out to the citizens of Omaha.
“The ship we are going to build has some big shoes to fill,“ said Rella. “Three Navy ships have been named for Omaha, including a cruiser, which served in World War II; a nuclear-powered Los Angeles Class Submarine; and this newly-awarded Littoral Combat Ship. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta has said that Littoral Combat Ships will be some of the most flexible ships in the arsenal today. This ship will do great things, and we want the city of Omaha to share in our excitement.”
“Omaha is more than a thousand miles away from the sea,” he said. “When we start cutting metal, set the keel, and ultimately help christen the vessel, we would be delighted to help this Midwestern city build stronger ties to their ship and the sailors who will serve aboard the future USS Omaha.”
Austal is currently under contract with the U.S. Navy to build nine 103-meter Joint High-Speed Vessels (JHSV) under a 10-ship, $1.6 billion contract, and five 127-meter Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships, four of which are a part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract.
Austal USA is a defense contractor specializing in aluminum naval vessel manufacture. The Mobile, Alabama shipyard where the Omaha will be built was founded in 1998 and currently employs 2,800 workers. It is the newest naval shipyard in the United States.