WASHINGTON -- The Navy will christen its newest littoral combat ship, the future USS Jackson (LCS 6) in a ceremony at the Austal USA Shipyard in Mobile, Ala., March 22, at 10 a.m. CDT.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will deliver the principal address at the ceremony, and Dr. Katherine Holmes Cochran will serve as the ship's sponsor. Cochran is the daughter of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.
"Every ship we christen is important, but LCS 6, the future USS Jackson, has a special place in my heart," said Mabus. "As a native Mississippian, it is especially meaningful to me that, at this christening, we are able to celebrate the great state of Mississippi, the great city of Jackson, and, above all, the hard work and dedication of countless shipbuilders and others who have worked so diligently to construct this great warship."
LCS 6 is the first U.S. Navy vessel christened in tribute to the capital city of Mississippi, and honors the state's deep ties to the U.S. Navy and the shipbuilding industry.
Jackson is an innovative surface combatant designed to operate in littoral seas and shallow water to counter mines, submarines and fast surface craft threats in coastal regions.
The ship is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Jackson will address a critical capabilities gap in the littorals and conduct the Navy's mission to enhance maritime security by deterring hostility, maintaining a forward presence, projecting power and maintaining sea control.
The ship launched Dec. 14, 2013, following construction at the Austal USA shipyard. These ships are the first vessels procured under the block buy contract awarded in 2010 and represent the true beginning of "serial production" for the class.
Jackson will continue to undergo outfitting and testing at Austal USA. The ship is expected to deliver to the Navy in early 2015 following acceptance trials.