Work continues at Austal with ships planned for the foreseeable future.
“So what, mid 20 20s so we’ve got a lot of work for a long period of time so we’re pretty excited about it,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle in a December 4th, 2015 interview. Last year the navy announced it would add more armor and weapons to the LCS and turn it into frigates. It may address concerns the original LCS was underpowered and outgunned.
“They do what a frigate does and they’re bigger they’re faster than most frigates that are out there that are out there today and have been out there historically,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus during an interview at the commissioning of the USS Jackson on December 5th, 2015. Changes won’t happen until 2019.
“Another is to take some of those capabilities and back fit them on now the ones done while under construction that would be us any retrofit can’t tell if they’ll do that or where they’ll do that,” said Perciavalle on December 4th. That retrofit work might be done at Austal. Last Saturday capped a good weekend for Austal USA with the commissioning of the USS Jackson in Gulfport –but this was a bad week for the company as a whole. In Australia, the company’s CEO announced a lower profit warning because they said the LCS program wasn’t maturing at an expected rate, Austal’s stock losing a third of its value.
Also some strangely timed criticism of the USS Jackson. Connecticut’s NAACP President and an official with the Cherokee nation slammed the name. They say the government should not promote President Andrew Jackson–a slave owner who started the forced migration of Cherokee Indians. The ship is named for the capital of Mississippi.
“Today’s commissioning of the USS Jackson is a permanent mark on the timeline of Jackson Mississippi,” said Jackson’s Mayor Tony Yarber during the commissioning ceremony. Jackson’s Mayor is black and praised the ship–the name was picked by the Secretary of the Navy more than five years ago.