The future USS Canberra is launched at the shipyard in Mobile, Ala. Courtesy of Austal USA

The future USS Canberra was launched this week at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.

The unusual trimaran hull warship will join a force in San Diego that will eventually number 19 vessels.

It’s the first navy ship launched so far this year by Austal, and the first to use a new dry dock acquired by the Australian company.

The new ship will be the second U.S. vessel to carry the name, which honors the HMAS Canberra, which was sunk during the Battle of Savo Island in 1942.

Littoral combat ships are small, fast surface warships designed to operate in near-shore environments to counter submarines, mines and swarming small craft. They are armed with guns, missiles and helicopters.

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Chris Jennewein

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