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USS Canberra set to be named in Australia

In July 2023 The United States Navy will be commissioning a vessel, USS Canberra, in an allied country for the first time.

The ship is an Independence-variant littoral combat ship, and once commissioned will serve as USS Canberra (LCS 30), with its homeport in Naval Base San Diego, California, USA.

The USS Canberra is named after the previous USS Canberra (CA-7/CAG-2) and the capital of Australia, Canberra. The ship was laid down on 10 March 2020, and launched on 30 March 2021.

The ship will be commissioned at the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East, in Sydney on 22 July 2023.

She is the second ship in the history of the US Navy to be named Canberra, the first being a Baltimore class heavy cruiser (CA-7/CAG-2) which was renamed from USS Pittsburgh in 1942, per the order of wartime President Franklin D. Roosevelt to honour the courage of HMAS Canberra, a heavy cruiser in the Royal Australian Navy in the Battle of Savo during the Second World War.

Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, Australian Chief of Navy called it a demonstration of “respect by the U.S. for the Officers and Sailors of the Royal Australian Navy” and an opportunity to reflect on “a friendship forged while fighting side-by-side”, referring to their close military alliance during the Second World War, fighting in Europe and the Pacific against the Axis powers, which lasts to this day.

The Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship is a “fast, manoeuvrable and networked surface combatant”, which “provides the warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to accomplish multiple, critical missions including mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare with inherent capabilities that also support missions such as special operations and maritime interdiction.”

The ship has begun its transit soon and will make its way through the Indo-Pacific, visiting countries in the region, before its final stop in Sydney.

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