The first trimaran hull littoral combat ship moves out of Austal USA's assembly plant in 2011. Navy photo
The first trimaran hull littoral combat ship moves out of Austal USA’s assembly plant in 2011. Navy photo

The future USS Omaha, a trimaran variant of the littoral combat ship class, was launched Friday in Alabama and will eventually be based in San Diego.

Omaha will be the 12th ship in a class of which 52 are planned. The Navy is basing 16 of the first 24 ships in San Diego.

The new vessel was rolled out of an assembly bay at the Austal USA shipyard onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock at BAE Shipyard on Thursday. The ship entered the water Friday when the drydock was flooded and the ship floated off the blocks supporting it.

“That this precisely choreographed launch event has become commonplace in Mobile is a sign of the maturity and stability of the LCS serial production line,” said Navy Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. “I look forward to the future USS Omaha completing the test and trial process en route to delivery to the fleet.”

The ship will return to Austal’s final assembly pier to continue outfitting, system activation and testing. She is scheduled to be christened on Dec. 19.

Fast, agile and mission-focused, littoral combat ships are designed to operate in near-shore environments and perform a variety of missions.

Among other ships in the class, the Montgomery is preparing for builders trials and the Jackson, Manchester, Little Rock, Detroit and Sioux City are under construction.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.