USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) was awarded to Austal USA on March 16th, 2012. The keel was laid down on April 16th, 2014 and the vessel was put out to sea on February 26th, 2015. Christened in June of 2015, the warship was formally commissioned on June 10th, 2017 to begin its service life with the United States Navy. Belonging to the Independence-class "Littoral Combat Ship" group, USS Gabrielle Giffords is one of thirteen planned vessels. Five are in active service as of 2017.
The warship is named after the former U.S. Senator Gabrielle Giffords.
The Independence-class was born from an original Austal cruise ship plan focused on achieving high speeds (around 40 knots). As in this cruise ship plan, the militarized Independence-class also employs a trimaran hull with the bridge superstructure integrated into the contours of the ship. The bridge sits at center with a helideck over stern and a sharply tapered bow at front. The "Littoral Combat Ship" classification stems from the class' close-to-shore support design. The group is also given inherent stealth characteristics and showcase a small footprint.
The Giffords displaces 3,105 tons under load and showcases an overall length of 418 feet, a beam of 104 feet and a draught of 14 feet. Power is a combination system involving 2 x gas turbines with 2 x diesel units as well as 4 x waterjets (the latter for fine-tuned positioning). 4 x Diesel generators are also carried. Speeds in ideal conditions can reach some 47 knots and operational range is out to 4,300 nautical miles. The crew complement numbers 75 that includes forty base personnel and up to thirty-five mission-minded crewmen.
The vessel is outfitted with the Sea Giraffe 3D Surface/Air Search radar system and the Bridgemaster-E navigational assist radar. An AN/KAX-2 ED/IR sensor is also carried. Electronic warfare falls to an EDO ES-3601 ESM fit and four BAe Systems Mark 36 SRBOC rapid bloom chaff launchers are installed for enhanced point defense protection against inbound aerial threats.
Armament consists of a 57mm BAe Systems Mk 110 series turreted deck gun installed at the forecastle, an 11-cell Evolved SeaRAM missile bank and 4 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns.
The helideck supports up to 2 x Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawk (or similar) medium-lift navy helicopters. Additionally, the vessel has provisions for supporting the launching and retrieval of the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout UAV helicopter.
- Amphibious Operations Support
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
418 ft (127.41 m)
104 ft (31.70 m)
14 ft (4.27 m)
44 kts (51 mph)
4,345 nm (5,000 miles; 8,047 km)
1 x 57mm Mk 110 turreted deck gun
4 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns
1 x RIM-116 SeaRAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) 11-cell Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).
2 x Sikorsky MH-60R/S Seahawk naval helicopters
1 x Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout UAV helicopter