The next ship in the littoral combat fleet will be named the Oakland, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Wednesday at an Oakland Athletics baseball game.
Oakland will be the 24th christened LCS and the 12th in the Independence-classvariant, out of 32 ships scheduled in the program's first run before the class are redesignated as frigates. is renamed under the frigate designation.
LCS Oakland will be the third ship in the fleet under that name, according to a Navy release. The first served was commissioned in 1918 and served mostly as a cargo ship.
The second was commissioned in 1942, an Atlanta-class light cruiser that served at Pearl Harbor, the Marshall Islands, Pagan, Guam, Iwo Jima, Rota, Peleliu and Okinawa.
The 419-foot ship will be built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, the release said.
Mabus announced earlier this year that any new LCS after number 32 will receive the FF frigate designation, which is more in line with Navy designating tradition. Traditionally, ship designations beginning with L are amphibious, unlike the LCS.
"It will still be the same ship, the same program of record, just with an appropriate and traditional name," he said in January at the annual Surface Navy Association symposium.
Mabus said in January that the next order of littoral combat ships will bear the FF designation, but he hadn't decided whether to rename the current LCSs.
The renaming would revitalize the frigate fleet, which will fall out of the ship count entirely this fall when Kauffman, the last of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class FFGs, is decommissioned.
Though the LCS program has been thought of as a replacement for the frigate fleet, the shallow-water littoral description didn't square up with the frigate's role as a small surface combatant.
"They don't look like traditional Navy ships sometimes, and I think that's one of the issues that traditionalists have, but if you look at the missions — if you look at what a frigate is supposed to be able to do — that's what this ship does," Mabus said.