The US Navy has completed acceptance trials of its tenth Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS) in Lake Michigan.
The acceptance trials of LCS 19, the future USS St Louis, mark the final phase of trials ahead of delivery to the navy in early 2020.
Prior to delivery, the industry team will perform final outfitting and fine-tuning.
The future USS St Louis is the 19th LCS ship built for the navy.
The Freedom-class LCS ships are designed and built by Lockheed Martin and industry partners at Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Lockheed Martin small combatants and ship systems vice-president Joe DePietro said: “The LCS fleet is growing in numbers and capability, and LCS 19’s completion of acceptance trials means the navy will shortly have ten Freedom-variant fast, focused-mission ships in the fleet.
“As each Freedom-variant hull deploys, we seek out and incorporate fleet feedback and lessons learned to roll in capabilities for new hulls. As a result, LCS 19 includes a solid-state radar, upgraded communications suite, increased self-defence capabilities and topside optimisation, among other updates.”
In a statement, Lockheed Martin said that the Freedom-class LCS ships have completed more than 500,000 nautical miles.
The ships are intended to provide the navy with the capability to defeat threats in coastal water.
They are designed to accommodate missiles, advanced sensors, and cyber systems.
The LCS is equipped with rolling airframe missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun. It is fitted with COMBATSS-21, which is based on Aegis combat management system.