The US Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, USS America (LHA 6), has successfully completed final contractor trials (FCT), as part of a series of post-delivery tests.

The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) carries out the FCT during which the ship and its major systems are exercised, tested and corrected as required.

USS America assistant FCT coordinator Ensign Nicholas Haan said: "The warranty on our ship, straight from the factory, is going to expire soon, so we want to catch all the discrepancies we can find, make sure they are all noted and get them fixed.

"It ensures the ship builders are held responsible for the things they need to be held responsible for."

The four-day trial started on 30 March and comprised pre-underway and material condition checks along with at-sea demonstrations of systems, including main propulsion, engineering and ship control systems, combat systems, damage control, food service and crew support.

The 844ft-long ship has been designed to support a variety of missions, including humanitarian, disaster relief, maritime security, anti-piracy and other operations, while providing air support for ground forces.

The LHA 6 is optimised for Marine Corps aviation, uses a gas-turbine propulsion system to cruise at a speed in excess of 20k and can carry a crew of 1,059 (65 officers) and 1,687 troops.

With the completion of the FCT, the ship will go through a maintenance period called post shakedown availability (PSA) in late spring when the required corrections to the ship will be implemented.

The first America-class ship LHA 6 replaces the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships.

Image: The amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) is underway off the coast of San Diego preparing for final contract trials. America is the first ship of its class and is optimised for Marine Corps aviation. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan A. Colon/Released.