The Navy will commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Manchester (LCS 14), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, May 26, at the State Pier in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Adm. William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, senior United States Senator from New Hampshire, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to, “man our ship and bring her to life!”
“The future USS Manchester is a modern marvel and an example of the increased capability that comes from a true partnership with the American industry,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “The ship honors the city of Manchester and the patriotic citizens of New Hampshire for their support to our military, and I cannot wait to see the amazing things the crew will accomplish.”
The future USS Manchester, designated LCS 14, is the twelfth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the seventh of the Independence-variant design. The ship is the second naval vessel to honor New Hampshire's largest city. The first, a light cruiser, was commissioned Oct. 29, 1946. During nearly ten years of commissioned service, the ship completed numerous deployments, including three combat deployments in support of operations in the Korean conflict during which she earned nine battle stars. The ship was decommissioned June 27, 1956 and stricken from the Navy list April 1, 1960.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for Surface Warfare (SUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Mine Countermeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems, and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain, and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS-class consists of the Freedom-variant and Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered ships). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered ships). Twenty-nine LCS ships have been awarded to date: 13 have been delivered to the Navy, another 13 are in various stages of construction and testing, and three are in pre-production states.