Test trials on the US Navy’s Independence Class littoral combat ship (LCS) are scheduled to begin this week.

The LCS underwent first sea trials to test its top speed of 44kt in July 2009, which highlighted some engine hardware issues. The ship was then removed from active trials mode and taken to the dockyard.

During the scheduled retests the navy will again test the top speed alongside all the relevant engine changes.

USS Independence, built by a General Dynamics consortium, is designed for small assault transport with a variety of capabilities depending on the mission module installed.

The 1,030m² flight deck will support operation of two SH-60 helicopters, unmanned vehicles or large CH-53 class helicopters.