The future Kansas City (LCS 22) successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. The 421'x103.7' trimaran LCS 22 is the 11th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), built by Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., to reach the milestone.
“I take great pride in how our LCS team has elevated this program to be an example of manufacturing excellence,” Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said in a statement announcing the success. “This is the 11th LCS sea trials completed successfully and more to follow. I am excited that this ship will be joining the fleet soon further strengthening our great Navy.”
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 the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship. LCS 22 will be the third ship Austal delivers to the Navy in 2019.
The Independence-variant LCS is a high-speed, shallow-draft focused-mission ship capable of operating independently or in a group. These ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance along coastal waters. A fast, maneuverability and networked surface-combatant, LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare. Montgomery (LCS 8) and Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) were recently deployed to Singapore and seven other Independence-variant LCS are homeported in San Diego.
The LCS program is at full rate production and continuing its momentum at Austal USA, with six ships currently under construction including Kansas City. The future Oakland (LCS 24) has launched and is preparing for trials. Final assembly is well underway on the future Mobile (LCS 26) and Savannah (LCS 28). Modules for the future Canberra (LCS 30) and the future Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility.
In addition, the Navy awarded Austal USA a $21 million order last week to perform planned post delivery services on the Independence-variant LCS Charleston (LCS 18). Austal’s West Coast operations team will perform the work in Seattle with it scheduled to be completed by September 2020.
As the number of Austal-built ships in the fleet continues to grow, the company is expanding its West Coast operations in San Diego and its Asia-Pacific operations in Singapore to meet the Navy’s current and planned deployments of small surface combatants and Expeditionary Fast Transports.