The U.S. Navy’s next Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Tulsa (LCS 16), has moved a step closer to deliver with the completion of acceptance trials on March 8.
An industry team led by shipbuilder Austal USA performed comprehensive tests while LCS 16 was underway in the Gulf of Mexico
in order to demonstrate to the Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment.
LCS 16 will be the eighth Independence-variant LCS built by Austal for the U.S. Navy and the second delivered so far in 2018.
“Littoral combat ships are just rolling off the assembly line at Austal, one after another in quick succession with each one better than the last,” said Austal USA president, Craig Perciavalle. “We handed LCS 14 over to the Navy at the end of February and now we’re ready to deliver the next one.”
The LCS program is at full rate production at Austal USA with several ships currently under construction, the builder said. 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.
“We stand ready with capacity now to efficiently build the Navy our nation needs while being able to support an aggressive growth plan to a 355 ship fleet,” Perciavalle said.
Six Independence-variant LCS are currently homeported at the San Diego Navy Base, soon to be joined by the future USS Manchester (LCS 14), which will leave Mobile to sail up to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, N.H. where she’ll be commissioned before heading west to San Diego.