The USS Montgomery (LCS 8), an Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) designed and constructed by Austal, has successfully conducted a number of operations with two ships from the Royal Australian Navy in the South China Sea.

Independence-Class LCS 8 operates successfully with Royal Australian Navy in South China Sea
Caption: Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship the USS Montgomery (LCS 8) was designed and constructed by Austal at the company’s USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama - Image: US Navy

While transiting at sea, the U.S. Navy’s Montgomery was joined by the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) and HMAS Sirius (O 266) and conducted communication drills, division tactics, bilateral flight operations, and personnel exchanges. Montgomery also successfully completed replenishments at sea (RAS), marking the first time an LCS has received fuel from an allied navy vessel.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said it was pleasing to see the Independence-class LCS engaging successfully with ships from the Royal Australian Navy, highlighting the interoperability of both the ship and the Navies.

“It’s great to see the Montgomery successfully engaged with the Royal Australian Navy at sea, demonstrating the capability of the vessel to operate with a variety of ships, on numerous missions and exercises,” Mr. Singleton said.

“We expect to see many more of these Austal-designed and constructed ships in our region, with a total of 19 Independence-class LCS being delivered by Austal USA to the U.S. Navy.”

The Independence-class LCS is a 127-metre aluminium trimaran, originally designed in Australia and constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The ship is a fast (40 knot), agile, mission-focused-platform designed for operation in littoral (near-shore) environments and open ocean to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. LCS are outfitted with mission packages (made up of mission systems and support equipment) that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare or surface warfare missions. Austal has constructed 10 LCS for the U.S. Navy with a further 9 vessels to be delivered.

USS Montgomery (LCS 8) is currently on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.

HMAS Stuart and HMAS Sirius are also currently underway in the Indo-Pacific region, in support of regional security and stability.

Source: Austal