US Navy Christens 18th Independence-Class Littoral Combat Ship

The US Navy has christened the USS Kingsville (LCS 36) Independence-class littoral combat ship in Mobile, Alabama.

The vessel is the 18th of its class and the first to bear the name of Kingsville, Texas. It will be delivered in 2024 and home-ported in San Diego, California.

The ceremony was hosted by US Navy representatives, partner shipbuilders, and sub-contractors. Ship sponsor Katherine Kline conducted the ceremonial bottle break on the bow to launch the ship.

Kline is a sixth-generation member of the King Ranch family, descendants of a steamboat captain who founded the King Ranch in 1853 in Kingsville, Texas.

In 1942, the US Naval Air Station Kingsville was established three miles from the city and has had a continuous relationship with the ranch since.

“I am so proud of the significant role that the namesake city has played in our nation’s security throughout its long history. I know the ship will carry that legacy of service forward as she and her crew enter the fleet to proudly serve our Navy and our Nation,” Kline stated.

“USS Kingsville highlights not only the city of Kingsville and Naval Air Station Kingsville, but also shows the efforts of two communities working together for the betterment of the nation,” US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro added.

“As we christen her today, I look forward to seeing the work that the officers and crew of USS Kingsville will do.”

US Navy Littoral Combat Ships

Littoral combat ships are optimally-manned surface vehicles operating near shore and in the open ocean.

The vessels can integrate with other manned, unmanned, combined, and joint teams to deter coastal threats. This feature enables the ships to support maritime security, forward presence, sea control, and other deterrence missions.

Alongside the Independence class, littoral combat ships are made in Freedom-class variants. Each line is designed and produced by two separate industry teams led by Austal and Lockheed Martin.

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