Home Americas USS Canberra first US Navy ship to enter service outside the US

USS Canberra first US Navy ship to enter service outside the US

Photo: US Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Canberra (LCS 30) will join the US Navy active fleet on July 22 with the US Navy’s first international commissioning ceremony in Australia.

The ceremony will take place at the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East in Sydney and will see Canberra become the first US Navy warship to be commissioned in an allied country.

Despite sharing the name of the Australian capital, the vessel is actually the second US Navy ship to pay tribute to the esteemed heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt personally designated the USS Canberra (CA-70/CAG-2) as a tribute to the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, which demonstrated great valor during the Battle of Savo Island from August 7 to 9, 1942.

Originally named Pittsburgh, the newly constructed Baltimore-class heavy cruiser was renamed Canberra on October 16, 1942. Subsequently, it was commissioned on October 14, 1943.

Canberra will transit through Indo-Pacific nations before arriving in Sydney for the Navy’s first international ship commissioning. A day after commissioning, Canberra will visit the Australian capital city of Canberra.

The first USS Canberra (CA-70) received seven battle stars for its World War II service. It was decommissioned on February 2, 1970, and officially removed from the Naval Vessel Register on July 31, 1978.

“I can think of no better way to signify our enduring partnership with Australia than celebrating the newest US Navy warship named for Australia’s capital city, and commissioning her in Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East surrounded by many of the Australian ships we have worked alongside for years,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.

“I look forward to this momentous day for the ship, crew, sponsor, and all our partners in government and industry who worked tirelessly to give the future USS Canberra the celebration it deserves.” he added.

The present-day USS Canberra is the 16th Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship commissioned by the US Navy. LCS are designed to be fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored, surface combatants that operate in both littoral and open-ocean environments.

LCS integrate with joint, combined, crewed, and unmanned systems to support forward-presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe. The future USS Canberra was built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.