WASHINGTON–Alcoa Defense, the defense industry’s leading supplier of aluminum,
titanium and other light alloys, today hailed the commissioning of the
first General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Independence.
Designed and built by a team led by General Dynamics and Austal USA in
Mobile, AL, the ship’s all-aluminum trimaran hull allows it to be faster
and more agile than a conventional Navy ship. The ship’s amahs, or side
pontoons, provide buoyant support on each side of the vessel’s center
hull and give it maximum stability, even when turning at high speeds.
“Through our work with Austal, we are helping to make the General
Dynamics LCS lighter, faster and stronger,” said Dave Dobson, president,
Alcoa Defense. “We provide design and engineering support for the
General Dynamics LCS as well as the Lockheed Martin LCS. Alcoa Defense
enhances their vessels by maximizing the performance of light alloys.”
The USS Independence is one of two rival designs for a revolutionary new
class of high-speed, affordable warships with multi-mission
capabilities. The other LCS design, the USS Freedom from Lockheed
Martin, was commissioned on November 8, 2008. Both ships make use of
aluminum, which helps ensure high-speed operations, a shallow draft, and
increased maneuverability in potentially dangerous coastal environments
in which they will operate. The USS Freedom has an all-aluminum
superstructure and steel hull, and the Navy is planning to deploy her
two years earlier than planned.
Additionally, through partnerships with subcontractors, Alcoa Defense is
helping to streamline the manufacturing process for the General Dynamics
LCS and the Lockheed Martin LCS, while simultaneously making aluminum
shipbuilding more affordable. Most lead supply contracts have not yet
been finalized for either of the LCS ships.
The USS Independence is a 416-foot (127-meter) trimaran, with a massive
center hull and two side hulls that increase its stability and give it a
7,300-square-foot flight deck — nearly twice the size of that on the
larger DDG-51 destroyer. Built for use in coastal or littoral waters,
the ship can reach sprint speeds of more than 45 knots (52 mph).
About Alcoa Defense
Alcoa Defense partners with industry leaders to design systems and
materials that increase the speed, reach, agility and survivability of
today’s and tomorrow’s strategic platforms. Through an unmatched
combination of defense and commercial engineering, Alcoa
(NYSE:AA) delivers multi-product, lightweight and cost-effective
solutions for programs ranging from the F35 Joint Strike Fighter to the
M777 howitzer to armored tactical and fighting vehicles. More
information can be found at www.alcoadefense.com.