By Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley are hosting a ship naming ceremony for the newest USS Charleston warship.

The event is scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Maritime Center.

The vessel is called a “littoral combat ship” and is the sixth ship to bear the city’s name. The 400-foot long ship is to be built in Mobile, Alabama. The keel is to be set in December and delivered in 2017 at a cost of $440 million.

Littoral ships are designed to operate close to shore. Their duties include mine detection and removal as well as anti-submarine defenses.

They are also built to defend against fast-moving, potentially hostile surface ships.

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