Face to face
with a


Austal USA

In 2012, with rampant ship hijackings by Somali pirates at an all-time high, the U.S. Navy solicited shipbuilders for help in attacking the problem. Austal USA answered the call with the design of a combat ship constructed entirely of aluminum. The Littoral, Independence-class — a 419-foot multihull vessel with top speeds of 70 knots — was envisioned to be a “networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant.”