Littoral combat ship christening
Leigh I. Saufley performs the ceremonial bottle break aboard the future USS Augusta. Courtesy Austal USA

The Navy on Saturday christened the future USS Augusta, the 17th futuristic, trimaran-hull littoral combat ship that will be based in San Diego.

Ship sponsor Leigh I. Saufley, the former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, performed the ceremonial bottle break over the bow at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, AL.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be the sponsor of the USS Augusta, named for the capital city of the great state of Maine,” said Saufley, who is now dean of the law school at the University of Maine.

“I am confident that the Augusta will serve the U.S. Navy and the people of the United States with distinction,” she said.

The ship is the second Navy vessel to be named in honor of Maine’s capital, the first being a Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine decommissioned in 2009.

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

All of the littoral ships in the Independence variant of the class are stationed at Naval Base San Diego. Ships of the second, monohull variant are based in Florida.

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