The US Navy’s newest Freedom-class littoral combat ship, the future USS Wichita (LCS 13), has successfully concluded its acceptance trials in Lake Michigan.
The trials saw the vessel conduct a full-power run, as well as manoeuvrability testing and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of its combat system.
A number of its major systems and features, including aviation support and small boat launch handling and recovery, were also demonstrated during the trial programme.
Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems vice-president Joe DePietro said: “LCS 13’s completion of acceptance trials means this ship is one step closer to joining the fleet and conducting critical maritime operations for the navy.
“This ship is agile, powerful and lethal, and the industry team and I are looking forward to her delivery, commissioning and deployment.”
The future USS Wichita is the seventh Freedom-variant vessel to be designed and constructed by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and represents the third ship to be named after Kansas’s largest city.
Freedom-variant LCS vessels are highly manoeuvrable, lethal and adaptable units that have been designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.
The vessels have been integrated with the latest technologies and are intended to help support current and future mission capabilities in a variety of locations, ranging from deepwater to littoral regions.
The 378ft-long LCS 13 has a displacement of 3,500 metric tonnes (mt) and can travel at a speed of more than 40k.
It possesses a range of 3,500 nautical miles (nm) at 18k.
The ship’s keel was laid on 9 February 2015 and the vessel was christened and launched on 17 September 2016.
It is currently slated for delivery to the US Navy later before the fourth quarter of this year.