The Navy’s newest Independence-class littoral combat ship, the future USS Oakland (LCS 24), successfully concluded acceptance trials here May 22 following a series of in-port and underway demonstrations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the successful completion of acceptance trials for LCS 24 during the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated Austal USA’s capability and reliability to deliver vessels on time, even under COVID-19 challenging circumstances.
“Austal USA has clearly answered the call, as part of a mission-essential industry, to continue operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver on commitments to the US Navy,” Mr Singleton said.
“The completion of acceptance trials for LCS 24 during this time of adversity is an outstanding achievement and a great acknowledgement of the skills and commitment of the Austal USA team.”
Acceptance trials involve the execution of a number of tests by the Austal USA-led industry team while the vessel is underway; demonstrating to the United States Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment. The trials are last significant milestone before delivery of the ship, scheduled for June 2020.
The ship also performed critical capability tests, including a full-power demonstration, steering and quick reversal, anchor drop test and combat system detect-to-engage sequence.
“I am impressed with the positive results achieved by the Navy and industry team during this acceptance trial of the future USS Oakland,” said Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program Manager, Capt. Mike Taylor. “We continue to see improvements in this class as we work to provide cost-effective warfighting capability to the fleet and the nation.”
Following delivery and commissioning, USS Oakland will sail to California to be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), USS Omaha (LCS 12), USS Manchester (LCS 14), USS Tulsa (LCS 16), USS Charleston (LCS 18), USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) and USS Kansas City (LCS 22).
Four additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The future USS Mobile (LCS 26) is undergoing final assembly. The modules for the future USS Savannah (LCS 28) and future USS Canberra (LCS 30) also are being erected, and modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are being fabricated. Additionally, Austal USA is preparing for construction of the future USS Augusta (LCS 34), USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38).
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable warship designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions. The Independence-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
LCS is now the second-largest U.S. Navy surface ship class in production. In 2019, three LCSs were delivered to the fleet and five will be delivered in 2020 at a pace not seen since the 1990s.