The US Navy has awarded four contracts to Austal to carry out post-shakedown availability (PSA) on two of its littoral combat ships (LCS), USS Jackson (LCS 6) and the future USS Montgomery (LCS 8).

Under the $4.9m contract, Austal will provide engineering and management services in support of the development of bridge wings and additional berthing for both the LCSs.

During PSA, which is conducted by every new US Navy ship, contractor repairs or improvements to the ship’s design are carried out before putting it through final contractor trials.

"The company is contracted to build a total of 11 Independence-class LCS for the navy."

USS Jackson and USS Montgomery have been built by Austal under a US Navy contract, worth more than $3.5bn.

The company is contracted to build a total of 11 Independence-class LCS for the navy, of which three ships have been delivered and construction of seven ships is currently underway.

The 127.8m-long Independence-class aluminium trimaran vessels can operate at a speed of more than 40k and can be fitted with reconfigurable payloads (mission packages), which can be modified to suit mine countermeasure, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions.

USS Montgomery is scheduled to be delivered this year, while Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and Omaha (LCS 12) are readying for sea trials, and Manchester (LCS 14) is scheduled for delivery in 2017.

Tulsa (LCS 16) is under final assembly, and modules for Charleston (LCS 18) and Cincinnati (LCS 20) are currently being constructed at Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility in Mobile Alabama.

Image: USS Jackson during its commissioning. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Sam Shavers/Released