The US Navy’s tenth Independence-class littoral combat ship, USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), has successfully completed its acceptance trials, marking a final significant milestone before its delivery.
During the trials, which included a series of in-port and underway demonstrations for the navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), the navy tested the performance of the ship’s propulsion plant, ship handling, and auxiliary systems.
LCS programme manager captain Tom Anderson said: "Another thorough trial by INSURV, and another ship with improved scores and at a lower cost than her predecessor.
"LCS 10 is an exceptional ship which brings the navy operational flexibility at an affordable price."
The vessel also conducted launch and recovery operations of the 11m rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB), surface and air self-defence, detect-to-engage exercises; and manoeuvrability that included a full power run at a speed of more than 40k.
USS Gabrielle Giffords is expected to be delivered to the navy next year, following which the ship will join its sister ships USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), and USS Montgomery (LCS 8) at the San Diego naval base.
Built by Asutal, the vessel has been designed to combat littoral threats and enhance access and dominance in the coastal waters, as well as execute the US Department of Defense's (DoD) Strategy.
The 419ft-long, high-speed, highly manoeuvrable combat ship has a waterline beam of 103ft, displacement capacity of 3,000t, and can cruise at a speed of 40k.
Image: USS Gabrielle Giffords launched at Austal USA shipyard. Photo: courtesy of U.S. Navy photo/Released.