Thursday, March 12, 2009

US Navy Names Newest Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado

Pictured in this May 2008 file photo is the littoral combat ship pre-commissioning unit Independence (LCS 2), which is the second ship in a new design of next-generation combat vessel for close-to-shore operations. The ship will have a crew of less than 40 Sailors and will be able to reach a sustained speed of up to 40 knots. The larger flight deck will accommodate two SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters. (U.S. Navy photo.)

Focus on Defense:

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2009 -- Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter announced March 12 that the fourth littoral combat ship (LCS) will be named USS Coronado.

The announcement continues the practice of naming the agile LCS vessels after American mid-sized cities, small towns and communities. The ship is named in honor of the patriotic citizens of Coronado, Calif.

Home to Naval Air Base North Island (NASNI) and Naval Amphibious Base (NAB), Coronado has been home to the Navy since 1917.

More than 90 tenant commands reside at NASNI, including the Naval Aviation Depot, the largest aerospace employer in San Diego. The base is homeport to two aircraft carriers, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

NAB Coronado has approximately 5,000 personnel and more than 30 tenant commands including Naval Surface Force Pacific and Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Pacific. The base is also home to Naval Special Warfare Command including several SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) and special boat teams, and the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training center.

Two previous ships have been named for Coronado. USS Coronado (PF 38), a Tacoma-class patrol frigate, earned four battle stars for supporting landings in New Guinea and Leyte during World War II. USS Coronado (AGF 11) served as flagship for the Third Fleet and was decommissioned in 2006.

Designated LCS 4, Coronado will be designed to defeat littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters for missions such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. There are two different LCS hull forms - a semiplaning monohull and an aluminum trimaran - designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. These seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly. Mission packages are supported by special detachments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors.

(Report from a U.S. Defense Department news release.)

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