The USS Canberra littoral combat ship was officially commissioned in Australia on Saturday, becoming the first US vessel in the country’s fleet, the Australian Defense Ministry said.
“United States (US) Navy ship, the USS Canberra, will be commissioned in Sydney today, becoming the first US vessel to be commissioned in Australia,” the statement read.
The commissioning ceremony took place at the HMAS Kuttabul base in Sydney, the ministry added. The USS Canberra has “proud links to Australian industry,” having been designed by Australian shipbuilder Austal Limited in Fremantle in the state of Western Australia.
“Australians can be proud that this ship, designed in Western Australia by local industry and named after HMAS Canberra, is being commissioned here for the first time in the history of the United States Navy,” Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles was quoted as saying by the ministry.
The senior official also stressed that the commissioning gives an opportunity to reflect on cooperation between Canberra and Washington.
Australia is known to be one of the United States’ key partners in the Asia-Pacific, with both countries, plus the United Kingdom, participating in the AUKUS security alliance under which Canberra is set to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.