The US Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) has completed sea trials after undergoing a major shipyard maintenance availability period over the last 12 months.
The sea trials are conducted after ships complete maintenance, which commenced in February 2015 in BAE Shipyards, to assess the functionality of the vessel’s systems and ensure its operational capability prior to deployment.
Ship repair officer chief warrant officer 3 Aaron Dowdy said: "Sea trials provided the ship with a series of tests and validations in order to test newly installed, modified or overhauled equipment.
"Major equipment that needed testing included radars, the ship’s propulsion system, and the countermeasure wash down system, which is designed to defend the ship against chemical, biological and radiological attack."
Following completion of the week-long sea trials, the amphibious assault ship will be subjected to its training and qualification cycle, termed as the Optimized Fleet Response Training Plan, which will include training and testing of the ship’s former and current crew before the next deployment of the ship.
The 844ft-long USS Bataan has a displacement capacity of 40,358t and was manufactured by Ingalls Shipbuilding.
It is propelled by geared steam turbines and can achieve a speed of more than 20k.
The ship’s weaponry includes two Sea Sparrow missile systems, two Rolling Airframe Missile systems, two Phalanx CIWS, three 25mm Mk 38 cannons, and four .50-calibre machine guns.
It is designed to support the launching and landing operation of a fleet of helicopters and attack aircraft.
Image: USS Bataan receiving fuel replenishment from USNS Arctic. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Caleb Strong/Released.