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US Navy Commissions New Independence Littoral Combat Ship in Australia

The US Navy has commissioned the latest Independence-class littoral combat ship, the USS Canberra (LCS 30), at the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Base East in Sydney.

The Canberra sailed from its San Diego homeport for the ceremony. During its journey, the vessel visited American Samoa and the Pacific island nation of Fiji.

“This truly is a special occasion for our fleet and our nation to be here with you in Australia, one of our closest allies, to celebrate the commissioning of our Navy’s newest warship that is destined to serve throughout the Indo-Pacific region,” US Navy Secretary Hon. Carlos Del Toro stated.

Bolstering US-Australia Partnership

The Canberra is the second US Navy ship named after Australia’s capital city.

The first ship, CA-70, was a Baltimore-class cruiser later configured as a Boston-class guided missile vessel.

It was commissioned in the 1940s in honor of the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, lost during the Battle of Savo Island in the Second World War.

The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Canberra (LCS 30).
The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Canberra (LCS 30). Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Faram/US Navy

“The commissioning of the USS Canberra is an opportunity to reflect on the shared history, friendship and cooperation between Australia and the United States,” Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said.

“Australians can be proud that this ship, designed in Western Australia by local industry and named after HMAS Canberra, is being commissioned here for the first time in the history of the United States Navy.”

“It is a privilege to witness our two navies come together at Fleet Base East today for this historic occasion.”

Independence and Freedom Littoral Combat Fleets

Efforts to complete the Independence-class LCS are underway in partnership with General Dynamics and Austal.

Alongside the variant, the US Navy is producing another LCS class, the Freedom vessels, in collaboration with Lockheed Martin.

Both fleets have mission-specific capabilities for rapid and optimally-manned operations in near-shore and open-ocean environments.

The ships are deployed for international maritime security, forward presence, sea control, and deterrence missions.

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