The U.S. Secretary of the Navy was in the Lowcountry last week to dedicate a new warship to be called the USS Charleston.
The Charleston is part of a new class of vessels known as Littoral Combat Ships. The LCS-class is purposely designed to operate in shallow water and have a versatility that allows it to run different missions. It will be the ninth LCS of its type when it is delivered in 2017.
The 418-foot, 2,300-ton ship will be constructed in Mobile, Alabama and is expected to cost about $440 million, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said during a press conference in Charleston on Friday.
Mabus also declared Charlotte Riley, the wife of Charleston’s may Joe Riley, as the ship’s sponsor.
The LCS program is being hailed as the future of coastal combat, but it has been plagued by cost overruns and other operational problems. A 2012 Navy report also warned the ships are especially vulnerable to larger vessels and missiles.