Keel for Future USS Canberra Laid

Marise Payne speaks Tuesday at Austal USA in Mobile.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne was in Mobile Tuesday to take part in the keel laying ceremony of the future USS Canberra (Littoral Combat Ship 30), at the shipyard of Austal USA.

Austal USA is a subsidiary of Australia-based Austal and is one of two U.S. contractors that have been building the Navy’s fleet of LCSs since 2008.

Payne authenticated the keel by welding her initials, assisted by an Austal construction specialist, onto an aluminum plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship.

Payne was appointed Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs in August 2018. A senator for New South Wales since 1997, she has more than two decades’ parliamentary experience, including 12 years’ membership of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

The Littoral Combat Ship is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation.  It is designed to defeat asymmetric such threats as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

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The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. Five Littoral Combat Ships are currently under construction at Austal’s state-of-the-art module manufacturing shipyard in Mobile.

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