The future USS Oakland (LCS 24) successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. LCS 24 is the 12th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., to reach this milestone.

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.

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 24 will be the second LCS Austal delivers to the Navy in 2020.

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, yet capable of open-ocean operation. A fast, maneuverable 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. USS Montgomery (LCS 8) and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) continue their successful deployment with the Pacific fleet and seven other Independence-variant LCS are homeported in San Diego.

“I take great pride in how our LCS team has continued to accomplish important milestones amidst this COVID-19 crisis,” Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said in a statement announcing the Navy's acceptance. “This is a testament to teamwork and the perseverance of our amazing employees, contractors and the Navy’s team to push on during a time of major adversity. I am excited that this ship will be joining the fleet soon, adding to the other 11 Independence-variant LCS Austal USA has already delivered and further strengthening our great Navy.”

The LCS program is at full-rate production and continuing its momentum at Austal USA, with six ships currently under construction including Oakland. The future USS Mobile (LCS 26) has launched and is preparing for trials. Final assembly is well underway on the future USS Savannah (LCS 28) and USS Canberra (LCS 30). Modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility. Austal cut the first aluminum to mark start of construction for the future USS Augusta (LCS 34) in early April.