US Navy names USS Canberra, only warship named after foreign capital

The USS Canberra – named after Australia’s seat of power – is an all-new littoral combat ship, one of the newest platforms in the US Navy.

“It says a lot about the strength of the friendship between our two nations that Australia is the only allied country whose US Navy capital has used a ship’s name,” said Commodore Matthew Hudson, Attaché. Australian serviceman at his embassy in Washington, during the press conference. baptism ceremony Saturday.

The ship is the second US Navy ship to bear the Canberra name. The first took place during World War II, when the USS Pittsburgh, a cruiser, was renamed Canberra after an Australian ship of the same name was sunk by Japanese forces in the Battle of Savo Island. , as part of the Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands. .

The cruiser Canberra would remain in service until 1970, with roles in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War.

“I am proud to join with Australian partners in continuing the legacy of this name,” Vice Admiral Ricky Williamson, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations of the United States, said at the ceremony on Saturday.

The first Canberra was also part of the US fleet when the ANZUS Treaty, a non-binding security agreement between the United States, Australia and New Zealand, was concluded in 1951.

Hudson noted this milestone on Saturday.

“As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance, the friendship between our two countries is stronger than ever,” he said.

“The alliance between our two countries makes the world a safer place,” said Todd Schafer, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

The newest USS Canberra is a 421-foot (128-meter) long, 3,200 metric-ton vessel that can accommodate a crew of up to 75 sailors.

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With a top speed of around 50 mph (80 km / h), this will be one of the fastest ships in the US Navy. It will also be armed with the Naval Strike Missile, a cruise missile that is hard to spot on radar and capable of maneuvering to avoid enemy defenses.

Littoral combat ships come in two variants, the single-hull Freedom class and the Independence class catamarans, of which Canberra is the 15th.

The symbolism of the United States’ close security ties with Australia extends beyond the name of the ship. It was built at the Austal USA shipyard, which is part of the Australian-based global defense giant Austal.

“Barely 16 years after Austal USA joined the US defense industrial base, the company is hosting its 15th littoral combat ship christening – LCS 30, a ship proudly named after the capital of Australia and still a another symbol of the great ties between our two countries, ”said Austal USA Interim President Rusty Murdaugh.

The christening of the Canberra marks the vessel’s evolution from construction to testing its systems at sea. It will be commissioned when these tests are completed, and then join the fleet for deployment.

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