Photo: US Navy
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Nope, Marvel isn’t filming a movie in San Francisco right now.
That stealthy, futuristic ship you’ve seen parked at Pier 30-32 on the Embarcadero isn’t a movie prop, Batman’s vessel for saving the day at sea.
When commissioned this weekend as the USS Tulsa (LCS-16), the 421-foot-long vessel will be the newest in the U.S. Navy’s Independence class of littoral combat ships. Littoral refers to operations near shore, or just off the coast.
“It looks like something out of Star Wars,” says Mike Rainey, a Navy public affairs officer, who is helping organize a ceremony on Feb. 16 to commission the ship.
The ship’s relatively small size, a trimaran design with three hulls and a helicopter flight deck astern make this ship fast, agile, maneuverable and able to perform a wide array of missions. Earlier ships of this size and mission type maxed out at around 17 knots (about 20 miles per hour), while the LCS (powered by two gas turbine engines, two main propulsion diesel engines, and propelled by four water jets) can zip through the open seas at speeds up to 44 knots (51 mph).
When the Pentagon and President Barrack Obama embraced the ships as the future of warfare in 2012, the New York Times wrote, “The Navy’s newest ship is designed to battle Iranian attack boats, clear mines from the Strait of Hormuz, chase down Somali pirates and keep watch on China’s warships.”
The USS Tulsa will be the fifteenth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the eighth of the Independence class. While the U.S. Navy wasn’t able to confirm the exact cost to build the USS Tulsa, multiple reports have indicated this class of ships in recent years costs about $360 million to build. For perspective, a typical destroyer costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion.
The same type of ship, the USS Manchester (LCS-14) ,visited last year during S.F.’s annual Fleet Week and was open for public tours. The public is invited to tour the USS Tulsa Feb. 12 to Feb. 15, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The USS Tulsa’s home port will be San Diego.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/A-crazy-futuristic-ship-is-parked-at-Pier-30-32-13611190.php.