The USS Augusta (LCS 34), an Independence-variant littoral combat ship, was officially commissioned at Eastport, Maine, marking the 17th of its kind in the United States Navy.
The commissioning ceremony for LCS 34, the 17th independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) and the 33rd in its class, took place on September 30th, paying tribute to Maine’s integral role in the enduring maritime legacy of the United States.
The second ship bearing the name Augusta, successfully completed acceptance trials in March and was officially received from Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, on May 12th.
The first vessel to pay homage to the capital of Maine, the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, formerly known as USS Augusta (SSN 710), served in active duty for 24 years before its decommissioning on February 11, 2009.
The Augusta is capable of achieving speeds surpassing 40 knots and is specifically engineered for operations in close-to-shore environments, while retaining the capability to handle open-ocean missions.
“Competing and being successful in the maritime starts at home. The state of Maine’s has a strong bond with the sea and our nation’s military. More than 30 ships proudly represent this state, its cities, places, and people” said Fuller.
“The USS Augusta and her crew will play an important role in defending our nation and enabling global maritime freedom and commerce. She will be integrated into operations that provide presence and support both sea control and power projection, which are at the core of the Navy’s mission,” he added.
The Independence-variant littoral combat ships have been plagued by problems ever since they started entering service, with two major problems being the combining gear issues that prevented Freedom-variant units from reaching their maximum speeds in addition to seeing them break down often and prompting the navy to halt deliveries of new ships in 2021 until the problem is fixed.
The second major problem are the delays in the development of mission packages that were envisioned as allowing the ships to perform either mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions.
One of the recent Independence-variant littoral combat ships, USS Coronado (LCS 4), has become the third ship of its class to decommission. This decision is part of a US Navy plan to retire the ships after just a decade of service.