The future littoral combat ship Savannah (LCS 28) successfully completed Acceptance Trials in the Gulf of Mexico on May 13. LCS 28 is the fourth Austal-built ship for the U.S. Navy to complete Acceptance Trials in the last year, despite the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The 421'6"x103.7' Independence-variant LCS is the most recent step in the small surface combatant evolution. A high-speed, agile, shallow draft, focused-mission surface combatant, the LCS is designed to conduct surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral near-shore region, while also possessing the capability for deep-water operations. With its open-architecture design, the LCS can support modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles.

“It’s always exciting to see these great ships return from the Gulf after a successful sea trial event,” Austal USA interim president Rusty Murdaugh said in a statement announcing the completion of the sea trials. “Working together with our Navy teammates, Austal’s highly talented shipbuilders have prepared another combat ship for delivery and we look forward to handing her over to the Navy soon so she can join her sisterships on the West Coast preparing for deployment.” 

Acceptance Trials involve the execution of intense comprehensive tests by the Austal USA-led industry team while underway, which demonstrate to the Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment. This is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship which is scheduled for later this summer.

Each aluminum trimaran LCS has a displacement of 3,200 MT, a 15.1' draft and is powered by a pair of 12,200-hp MTU 20V8000 diesel engines and two 29,500-hp GE LM2500 gas turbines.

The LCS program is at full-rate production and continuing its momentum at Austal USA, with five ships currently under construction including the Savannah. The future Canberra (LCS 30) was launched in March and is now preparing for trials. Final assembly is underway on the future Santa Barbara (LCS 32) and future Augusta (LCS 34). Construction began on the future Kingsville (LCS 36) earlier this year. Oakland (LCS 24) was recently commissioned and has joined 11 other Independence-variant LCSes homeported in San Diego. Mobile (LCS 26) was commissioned May 22 in its namesake city.