LCS Charleston completes trials for summer delivery

The following is text of a news release from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA):

(MOBILE, Ala.) — Littoral combat ship (LCS) Charleston (LCS 18) successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico on July 19 after a series of in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.

Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before the ship is delivered to the Navy. During trials, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the future USS Charleston to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling abilities and auxiliary systems.

“Another solid acceptance trial by the Navy and industry team in Mobile,” said LCS Program Manager Capt. Mike Taylor. “I look forward to celebrating with the crew of the future USS Charleston when she is delivered later this summer.”

While underway, the ship successfully demonstrated its bow thruster, twin boom extendable crane operations with the 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat, completed surface and air self-defense detect-to-engage exercises, and demonstrated the ship's handling and maneuverability through high-speed steering and operation of its anchor.

Following delivery, Charleston will undergo a post-delivery availability that includes crew training, certifications and familiarization exercises in Mobile. 

The ship will be home-ported 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) and the future USS Tulsa (LCS 16), which was delivered in April and will be commissioned in February 2019 in San Francisco.

Several more Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile. Cincinnati (LCS 20), Kansas City (LCS 22), Oakland (LCS 24) and Mobile (LCS 26) are in varying stages of construction. In addition to these ships, contracts for Savannah (LCS 28) and Canberra (LCS 30) were awarded to Austal in 2017.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical theaters.

By Professional Mariner Staff