AUSTAL USA Celebrates the Christening of LCS Tulsa
MOBILE, Ala. — Austal USA hosted the christening of the nation’s 16th littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Tulsa, Feb. 11, the company announced in a release.
Tulsa (LCS 16) is the sixth LCS in Austal’s 11-ship contract, worth more than $3.5 billion. With its shallow draft of 14 feet, the Austal-built Independence-variant LCS is an advanced high-speed and agile 419-foot aluminum trimaran combat ship that combines superior seakeeping, endurance and speed with the volume and payload capacity needed to support emerging missions.
“We are proud to provide an awesome combat ship to our nation’s incredible sailors,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. “One that will honor the great city of Tulsa as she defends our nation around the globe. We’re equally excited to share this celebration with an amazing patriot in Kathy Taylor, who has served veterans and active duty military in so many ways, and now infuses her spirit as the sponsor into this incredible ship and her crew.”
Taylor was Tulsa’s 38th mayor and is currently chief of economic development for Tulsa’s sitting Mayor, G.T. Bynum. Her administration hired the first veteran’s liaison in the mayor’s office, helped establish the first veteran’s court in the nation, formed the Tulsa Veterans Advisory Council and worked with local colleges to increase veteran enrollment and completion of college.
In 2006, Taylor visited all branches of the U.S armed forces as a member of the U.S. Department of Defense civilian task force traveling throughout the Middle East. She later partnered with Tulsa’s 211 Service Helpline to improve communication about services and benefits available to active duty military and veterans.
Traditionally, the christening of a ship is where the ship’s sponsor blesses the ship by breaking the bottle of champagne on the bow of the ship and ceremonially gives the ship its name. The roll of sponsorship represents a lifelong relationship with the ship and her crew.
The future USS Tulsa will be launched in mid-March and is scheduled for delivery in 2018. The ship has a maximum speed of more than 40 knots, a voluminous 28,000-square-foot mission bay, and a flight deck capable of simultaneously holding two H-60 helicopters.