The US Navy’s Austal-built Independence-class littoral combat ship 6 (LCS 6), the future USS Jackson, has successfully completed acceptance trials, marking a significant milestone before its delivery.
The trials, which were conducted in the Gulf of Mexico, saw the navy perform comprehensive testing of the vessel’s major systems and equipment.
Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy said: "The LCS programme is maturing into an efficient phase of construction.
"Completion of our first acceptance trial on LCS 6 as the prime contractor is a significant and important milestone for Austal."
The 127m-long, high-speed, highly manoeuvrable combat ship, USS Jackson, has a full-load displacement of 2,637t, an operational range of 4,300nm, and is capable of cruising at a speed of 40k.
The US Navy’s LCS vessels have been designed to support a range of missions, such as defeating asymmetric anti-access threats, including mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface craft in near-shore environments.
Featuring reconfigurable payloads, known as mission modules, the LCS will be deployed with manned and unmanned vehicles, as well as sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare missions.
The LCS class comprises two variants the Freedom variant and Independence variant, which are developed by two industry teams, led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics (GD) respectively.
Austal, which is part of GD team, is responsible for the delivery of ten LCSs to the US Navy under a $3.5bn contract.
In April, Austal secured a $11m contract to deliver engineering and management services for advance planning and design, in support of the post shakedown availability for USS Jackson.
Image: The US Navy’s independence-class littoral combat ship 6, USS Jackson. Photo: courtesy of Austal.