Austal USA-Built Charleston LCS Completes Navy Acceptance Trials

The future USS Charleston littoral combat ship completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico on July 19 and is now ready for delivery to the U.S. Navy this summer.

The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey assessed the Independence-variant LCS built by Austal USA during a series of in-port and underway demonstrations that showcased the vessel’s propulsion plant, auxiliary systems and ship handling function, Naval Sea Systems Command said Friday.

LCS-18 performed surface and air self-defense and detect-to-engage exercises as well as demonstrated anchor operations and high-speed maneuverability.

The ship also demonstrated its bow-thruster and twin-boom extensible crane through an 11-meter, rigid-hull inflatable boat.

After its delivery to the Navy in Mobile, Ala., Charleston will undergo post-delivery availability operations such as crew training, certifications and familiarization exercises.

The ship will then be homeported in San Diego with its eight sister ships.

The open-architecture LCS provides military access to critical theaters and is equipped with modular weapons, sensor systems and various manned and unmanned vehicles.

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