The US Navy has commissioned Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS St. Louis (LCS 19) in a private due COVID-19 precautions.
St. Louis is the 22nd LCS to be delivered to the Navy, and the tenth of the Freedom-variant to join the fleet and is the seventh ship to bear the name.
Rear Adm. Brad Cooper II, commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, welcomed the ship that brings capabilities to counter diesel submarine, mines, and fast surface craft threats to the world’s premier surface force.
“St. Louis brings speed and agility to the fleet,” said Cooper. “Congratulations to St. Louis’ captain and crew for all of your hard work to reach this milestone. You join a proud surface force that controls the seas and provides the nation with naval combat power when and where needed.”
“Nearly 200 years after the first ship to bear the name was launched, today we commission the seventh USS St. Louis,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. “Much like that sloop of war did in 1828, LCS-19 and her crew will protect the US and our interests near and abroad. Whether conducting counter-narcotic operations in the Caribbean or working to enhance interoperability with partners and allies at sea, USS St. Louis will provide maneuverability, stability and lethality in today’s era of Great Power Competition.”
The littoral combat ship applies modularity for operational flexibility. Fundamental to this approach is the capability to install interchangeable mission packages (MPs) onto the seaframe to fulfill a specific mission and then be uninstalled, maintained and upgraded at the mission package support facility (MPSF) for future use aboard any LCS seaframe.
LCS may also pair with the MH-60R maritime helicopter giving it an anti-submarine mission capability.