The Littoral Combat Ship USS Charleston (LCS-18) officially joined the fleet during a Saturday commissioning ceremony in downtown Charleston, S.C.
The Independence-class Charleston is the 16th LCS to join the fleet and is scheduled to be homeported in San Diego, Calif.
The US Navy plans to build 34 LCS before shifting to its surface combatant priority, the future frigate program. The Navy still has one LCS contract to award.
Work building the LCS is divided among two prime contractors – Austal USA who builds the Independence variants, and Lockheed Martin, the builder of the Freedom-class variants.