The first industrial post-delivery availability (IPDA) upgrade for the US Navy littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) has begun at the BAE Ship Repair Yard in Norfolk, Virginia.

During the planned IPDA upgrade, the ship will undergo upgrades for its launch recovery and handling system as well as the complete installation of commercial broadband satellite programme systems.

Independence recently completed structural test firing exercises, during which the ship successfully tested its 57mm guns, SeaRAM missiles and identification friend-or-foe system.

Upon scheduled completion of the IPDA upgrade in August, Independence will continue the post-delivery test trials.

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LCS is a surface vessel with a wide range of combat capabilities to operate in littoral zones to defeat anti-access threats, which include fast surface craft, quiet diesel submarines and underwater mines.