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New combat ship calls San Diego home port

Kay Granger

SAN DIEGO -- A new shallow-draft Navy ship that is faster than its predecessors arrived Thursday morning at its homeport of San Diego.

The 378-foot USS Fort Worth, named for the Texas city that is the nation's 16th largest, pulled into San Diego Bay at about 8:30 a.m. It is the Navy's third littoral combat ship and was commissioned in a ceremony in Galveston, Texas, on Sept. 22.

As a littoral combat ship, the Fort Worth can travel in less than 20 feet of water and reach speeds of up to 40 knots in 90 seconds, according to the Navy, which is expected to use the more agile, maneuverable vessel to better fight piracy, drug trafficking and terrorism at sea.

The versatile class of vessels can be configured in different ways, depending on the type of mission they are assigned.

"The world is changing, the enemy is changing,'' Rep. Kay Granger of Texas told reporters during the commissioning ceremony.

The Fort Worth is designed to be operated by up to 75 crew members. Its armament includes an MK 110 57 mm gun, rolling airframe missiles and a torpedo system.

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