New Navy Combat Ship Packs a Million Pounds of Aluminum
Austal USA has completed construction of the U.S. Navy's
second Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a 417-foot
all-aluminum vessel christened Coronado.
The trimaran hull warshipdesigned for maneuverability,
stability, endurance, shallow draft, and with a flight deck larger than
any other U.S. Navy surface combatantincorporates more than one
million pounds of high-quality aluminum. That makes the ship one of the
single largest uses of aluminum anywhere in the world.
The LCS is the largest aluminum vessel afloat today, and most of the
hundreds of thousands of pounds of 5083-alloy aluminum plate used
for the ship was supplied by Alcoa's Davenport Works in Riverdale,
Iowa. In addition to marine plate, Alcoa Defense also supplied
fabricated aluminum subassemblies for the Austal LCS.
"Austal selected Alcoa aluminum for this critical supply contract for
many reasons, including our unmatched dimensional capabilities of our
rolling millsdelivering the widest range of sizes available in the
industry," said David Dobson, President of Alcoa Defense. "Alcoa and
Austal are working together to introduce innovative flight deck
tie-downs, aluminum armor solutions, and large, thick-plate
sub-assemblies to subsequent LCS vessels that will take even more weight
off the ship and improve shipbuilding efficiency."
According to the U.S. Navy, the LCS Program is designed to establish and
maintain U.S. Navy dominance in the coastal regions and sea lanes of
"communication choke points" around the world. As such, LCS is a fast,
agile platform designed for operation in both near-shore environments
and the open ocean. It is designed to defeat asymmetric "anti-access"
threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface
The LCS is capable of being outfitted with reconfigurable payloads
(mission packages) that can be changed quickly to support mine
countermeasure, anti-submarine, and surface warfare missions. The vessel
has a maximum speed of more than 45 knots (52 mph).
Coronado is the second of 12 Independence Class LCS ships
expected to be built, with the potential for more.