The future USS Mobile combat ship’s keel laying ceremony took place today at the Austal USA shipyard. The ceremony celebrates the start of construction.
“This really starts the process on really making progress on getting the ship completed and getting ready for launch,” says Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle.
The future USS Mobile is on it’s way.
“It’s very very encouraging,” says Perciavalle.
Today’s keel laying ceremony marks the beginning of something special. It’s the first time a ship that was built here has been named after the city.
“To have USS Mobile on the ship is something that is indescribable. It’s really something we are very proud of,” Perciavalle adds.
“The City of Mobile will be a part of that ship, a part of its identity for the entire time it’s in the Navy. These are important ships,” says Congressman Bradley Byrne.
USS Mobile will be deployed on missions in the Pacific Ocean throughout the next three decades with a part of Mobile. The ships sponsor Rebecca Byrne welded her initials into the keel plate.
“It’s incredible what the men and women are doing on the ship and what they are doing for us and want to make sure we are sending them off into the waters with appreciation,” she says.
The USS Mobile may be one of the last built with the current design. The Navy will be transitioning into new ships called frigates.
“Austal is a major part of the regional part. It’s important for us to keep it going, but it’s equally important to get these built for the Navy. We do not get to the 355 ship Navy without the LCS program without EPF and without building those Frigates,” says Congressman Byrne.
Congressman Byrne estimates the new frigate design will cost 800 million dollars a piece.
“Believe it or not that’s a low price for a ship. In order for us to keep pace and to stay ahead with our adversaries particularly with Russia and China we have to continue making ships at this level,” says Congressman Byrne.
Austal is in the running for receiving the contract to build those new frigates.
Congressman Byrne tells NBC 15 a decision is expected to be made early next summer/fall.
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