If folks expected U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to abandon the service’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program just because the Pentagon cut the fleet because Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the vessels can’t pack – or take – a big punch, well they’re very much mistaken.
If there was any doubt about the LCS resolve left in Mabus – the force behind the current block-buy for the ships – it was erased March 22 when he gave the keynote address at the christening ceremony of the future LCS-6 USS Jackson March 22 at AustalUSA in Mobile, Ala.
Actions, they say, speak louder than words – but here Mabus delivered on both.
"Today, the Pacific and Indian oceans are again a focus in U.S. defense strategy, and Littoral Combat Ships like the Jackson will play a critical role," Mabus says. "She's fast, agile, modular, shallow draft, and will allow us to work in many different ways with our partners."
He also says, "The ship before you is a modern marvel, but so too is this incredible shipyard and its workforce. Nearly 3,000 American craftsmen have made this ship possible, both here in Mobile and all around the country making components of the ship and its systems."
And he still extolls the virtues of the ship.
"This is a completely new type of ship, a new concept," he says. "The weapons systems on Jackson can be traded out to fit whatever mission it is given. Those same systems can be upgraded as technology changes without having to build a new ship or changing anything out but that particular weapons system."