Austal has announced successful completion of acceptance trial for their eighth Independence class Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Tulsa (LCS 16).
Austal said the trial in the Gulf of Mexico marked the last significant milestone required by the US Navy prior to delivery of the vessel.
Austal, working with Navy and industry, ran comprehensive acceptance trials demonstrating the successful operation of the ship’s systems and equipment. LCS 16 will be the second Independence-variant LCS delivered by Austal into service for the US Navy this year.
The Austal-built 419’x99′ Independence-variant LCS is a high-speed, aluminum trimaran combat ship that is designed to combine superior seakeeping, endurance and speed with the volume and payload capacity needed to support emerging missions.
Austal has delivered seven Independence-variant LCS, six of which are currently homeported at the Naval Base San Diego. The future Manchester (LCS 14) will leave Mobile soon and sail up to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, N.H., where she’ll be commissioned before heading west to San Diego.
“The investment we have made in our cutting-edge production process is not only a competitive advantage, but increasingly is demonstrating our capacity to reliably deliver some of the world’s most technologically advanced naval vessels” Austal CEO, David Singleton said.
“Our production team in Alabama has been achieving impressive results by focusing on productivity and quality improvements. LCS 16 has been delivered with nearly 14% less labour hours than LCS 12 which was delivered in September 2017” he said.
“The LCS has a significant economic footprint supporting tens of thousands of jobs through the contributions of more than 900 local suppliers in 41 states involved in the program,” Singleton said.
The LCS program is at full rate production with several ships currently under construction at Austal including the Tulsa. Charleston (LCS 18) is preparing for trials, final assembly is well underway on Cincinnati (LCS 20) and Kansas City (LCS 22), and modules for Oakland (LCS 24) and the future USS Mobile (LCS 26) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility.