The USS Manchester (LCS-14), the Navy’s 12th littoral combat ship (LCS) and 7th ship of the Independence class was commissioned on 26 May during a ceremony in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Named for the city in New Hampshire, the ship was built by Austal USA at its Mobile, Alabama, shipyard. The Manchester was laid down on 29 June 2015 and launched on 13 May 2016. The Independence-class units measure 421.5 feet long with a beam of 103.7 feet and a draft of 15 feet. The 3,000-ton Independence-class LCS is based on a fast commercial ferry, and the design includes an aluminum trimaran hull with a large flight deck, helicopter hangar, and reconfigurable mission bay. Navy plans call for a total of 32 LCS to be built, divided evenly between the Freedom and Independence-class designs. Construction of these vessels is expected to be followed by acquisition of 20 new future frigates, which are currently under development.
Combat Fleets of the World
By Eric Wertheim