The US Navy will commission the ship, the USS Canberra, in an allied nation for the first time in its history.
The vessel is an Independence-variant littoral combat ship, and once commissioned, is going to hold the title USS Canberra (LCS 30), with a homeport in California’s Naval Base San Diego.
The USS Canberra has been named after the earlier USS Canberra (the CA-7/CAG-2) and Australia’s capital, Canberra.
The vessel was laid down in 2020 (10 March) and launched in 2021 (30 March). The vessel will be commissioned in Sydney, at the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East, on 22 July.
It is the second vessel in the history of the United States Navy to have the name “Canberra”, the first one was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser (the CA-7/CAG-2) renamed from the USS Pittsburgh back in 1942, per the order of wartime President Franklin D. Roosevelt to honour the courage and dedication of the HMAS Canberra, a heavy cruiser belonging to the Royal Australian Navy in the Battle of Savo Island during World War II.
Such an act signifies a strong, dedicated, and enduring collaboration with Australia, mentioned Carlos Del Toro, U.S. Navy’s Secretary.
Australian Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, referred to it as a reflection of “respect by the U.S. for the Sailors and the Officers of the Royal Australian Navy, as well as an opportunity to reflect on a deep friendship that was forged while fighting side by side, referring to their military alliance during World War II, fighting in the Pacific and Europe against the Axis powers, which lasts till date.
The unique Independence-variant Littoral Combat model is a fast, highly manoeuvrable, and well-networked surface combatant” which offers warfighting capabilities coupled with operational flexibility to accomplish critical missions, including mine warfare, antisubmarine and surface warfare inherent capabilities that support missions like special operations as well as maritime interdiction.
The vessel has started its transit soon and will make its way via the Indo-Pacific, paying a visit to countries in the region, before the final stop in Sydney.
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