Austal celebrates keel laying for future USS Kingsville

Ship is LCS 36, one of 18 crafted at Austal in Mobile

Ship sponsor Katherine Kline welds her initials onto the keel with the help of Austal USA A-class welder Joseph Bennett Jr.

Austal USA celebrated Wednesday the keel laying for Littoral Combat Ship 36, the future USS Kingsville. Ceremonies took place at Austal’s shipyard on the Mobile Riverfront.

The ship is the 18th crafted by Austal for the U.S. Navy. It is the first in U.S. Naval history to be named for the city of Kingsville, Texas.

“A keel laying ceremony is the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction,” Austal explains. “At Austal USA, the keel laying symbolically recognizes module erection in final assembly and the ceremonial beginning of a ship.”

Sponsor for the ship is Katherine Kline, a member of the sixth generation of the King Ranch family, at Kingsville and near Naval Air Station Kingsville. As part of the celebration, she welded her initials onto the aluminum keel plate.

The LCS is a high-speed, shallow-draft surface vessel designed for operations near shore.

- Sponsor -

The latest Alabama business news delivered to your inbox