Navy’s new combat ship heads to San Diego

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USS CoronadoSAN DIEGO — The future USS Coronado started its journey today to its San Diego home port, where it will be commissioned in April, the Navy reported.

The littoral combat ship is designed for use in coastal waters and can be outfitted in various ways, depending on the mission. Commissioning is scheduled for April 5.

“It is exciting to see Coronado, operated by her Navy crew, exiting the new construction yard en route to her home port,” said Capt. Tom Anderson, the LCS program manager. “There is a great sense of pride among the many who were involved in her construction in seeing her headed to sea to do what she was built to do.”

Coronado is the fourth LCS delivered to the Navy, and the second of the aluminum, trimaran Independence variant.

The other LCS type has a standard single hull. During transit to the West Coast and prior to commissioning, Coronado’s crew will conduct hull, mechanical and electrical system shakedowns, as well as navigation checks and tests of combat systems.

Additionally, the crew will participate in training events to become more familiar with the trimaran design.

According to the Navy, design changes were incorporated into the Coronado based on lessons learned from the first ship of itse class, the USS Independence.

The changes are now part of the baseline design and are being incorporated in the construction of future Independence-class ships, the Navy said.

The LCS was plagued with numerous mechanical problems during its development. The San Diego-based USS Freedom, a single-hull LCS that was deployed last year to Southeast Asia, was sent to port for unplanned maintenance several times.

Four other vessels of the LCS variety are under construction at the Austal USA shipyard, including one named for Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who survived a mass shooting three years ago that killed six people and left her with a head wound.

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