Littoral combat ships
Independence-class littoral combat ships at Naval Base San Diego. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Austal USA, a defense contractor with a growing presence in San Diego, announced Friday it has delivered the 16th Independence-class littoral combat ship to the Navy.

The future USS Santa Barbara is a futuristic, trimaran warship that will be based in San Diego after it is commissioned.

The ship is 418 feet in length, armed with guns, missiles and helicopters, and can reach speeds of over 50 mph. 

While the Navy wants to decommission some of the Freedom-class monohull littoral ships based on the the East Coast, the ships in San Diego aren’t affected.

Austal’s shipyard is in Mobile, AL, but the Australian-based company recently secured long-term leases for a 15-acre ship repair facility adjacent to Naval Base San Diego.

Th company is currently building three more littoral ships, with the USS Augusta just launched and the future USS Kingsville and USS Pierre under construction.

Also under contract for the Navy are Expeditionary Fast Transports and Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships, as well as a new floating dry dock.

Chris Jennewein

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