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Cmdr. Christopher Brusca, commanding officer of the Navy's newest littoral combat ship, USS Charleston (LCS 18) speaks during the commissioning ceremony held in the ship's namesake city on Saturday, March 2, 2019.
Cmdr. Christopher Brusca, commanding officer of the Navy's newest littoral combat ship, USS Charleston (LCS 18) speaks during the commissioning ceremony held in the ship's namesake city on Saturday, March 2, 2019. (Natalia Murillo/U.S. Navy)
Cmdr. Christopher Brusca, commanding officer of the Navy's newest littoral combat ship, USS Charleston (LCS 18) speaks during the commissioning ceremony held in the ship's namesake city on Saturday, March 2, 2019.
Cmdr. Christopher Brusca, commanding officer of the Navy's newest littoral combat ship, USS Charleston (LCS 18) speaks during the commissioning ceremony held in the ship's namesake city on Saturday, March 2, 2019. (Natalia Murillo/U.S. Navy)
The crew of the Navy's newest littoral combat ship, USS Charleston (LCS 18), mans the rails and brings the ship to life during the ship's commissioning ceremony in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday, March 2, 2019.
The crew of the Navy's newest littoral combat ship, USS Charleston (LCS 18), mans the rails and brings the ship to life during the ship's commissioning ceremony in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday, March 2, 2019. (Natalia Murillo/U.S. Navy)

The Navy commissioned its newest littoral combat ship, the USS Charleston (LCS 18) in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.

The USS Charleston is the 16th littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the ninth of the Independence variant, according to a Navy news release. The ship will be the sixth named to honor the city and citizens of Charleston.

“The future USS Charleston is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people — civilian, contractor and military — can accomplish together," said Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer. "This ship will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world, from maintaining the sea lanes to countering instability to maintaining our edge against renewed great-power competition.”

According to a Navy fact sheet, the 3,200-ton Charleston, built by General Dynamics/Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., is 421 feet long, has a beam of 103 feet and has a navigational draft of 15 feet. The ship is powered by two gas turbine engines, two main propulsion diesel engines, and four waterjets to speeds up to 40-plus knots.

Fast, agile, and designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation, the Charleston is designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The ship will be homeported in San Diego, Calif.

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