Future Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) successfully completed its acceptance trials November 18. The trials consisted of a series of in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).
Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy. During the trials, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the LCS intended to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling, and auxiliary systems.
«Another thorough trial by INSURV, and another ship with improved scores and at a lower cost than her predecessor», said LCS Program Manager Captain Tom Anderson. «LCS-10 is an exceptional ship which brings the U.S. Navy operational flexibility at an affordable price».
While underway, the ship successfully performed launch and recovery operations of the 36-foot/11-meter, rigid-hull inflatable boat; surface and air self-defense, detect-to-engage exercises; and demonstrations of the ship’s maneuverability to include a full power run in excess of 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h.
Following delivery and commissioning in Galveston, Texas, LCS-10 will sail to California to be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Coronado (LCS-4), USS Jackson (LCS-6) and USS Montgomery (LCS-8).
Several more Independence variants are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. Future USS Omaha (LCS-12) and future USS Manchester (LCS-14) are preparing for builders trials in 2017. Future USS Tulsa (LCS-16) is scheduled to be christened in early 2017. Other sister ships, future USS Charleston (LCS-18), future USS Cincinnati (LCS-20), future USS Kansas City (LCS-22), future USS Oakland (LCS-24), and future USS Mobile (LCS-26) are all in varying stages of construction.
The LCS class consists of two variants – the Freedom variant and the Independence variant – designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin for the odd-numbered hulls (e.g. LCS-1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls.
Each LCS will be outfitted with a single mission package made up of mission modules containing warfighting systems and support equipment. A dedicated ship crew will combine with aviation assets to deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, or surface warfare missions.
LCS10 Completes Acceptance Trials with Dolphins in tow
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class
|Construction||Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy|
|Length overall||417 feet/127.1 m|
|Beam overall||103 feet/31.4 m|
|Hull draft (maximum)||14.8 feet/4.5 m|
|PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES|
|Complement||Core Crew – 40|
|Mission crew – 36|
|Berthing||76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments|
|Maximum mission load||210 tonnes|
|Mission Bay Volume||118,403 feet3/11,000 m3|
|Mission packages||Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)|
|Surface Warfare (SUW)|
|Mine Warfare (MIW)|
|Main engines||2 × GE LM2500|
|2 × MTU 20V 8000|
|Waterjets||4 × Wartsila steerable|
|Bow thruster||Retractable azimuthing|
|Speed||40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h|
|Range||3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km|
|Operational limitation||Survival in Sea State 8|
|Deck area||>21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2|
|Launch and recovery||Twin boom extending crane|
|Internal elevator to hanger|
|Launch/Recover Watercraft||Sea State 4|
|FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER|
|Flight deck dimensions||2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)|
|Hanger||Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60|
|Launch/Recover Aircraft||Sea State 5|
|WEAPONS AND SENSORS|
|Standard||1 × 57-mm gun|
|4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns|
|1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher|
|3 × weapons modules|
|USS Independence (LCS-2)||01-19-2006||04-26-2008||01-16-2010||San Diego, California|
|USS Coronado (LCS-4)||12-17-2009||01-14-2012||04-05-2014||San Diego, California|
|USS Jackson (LCS-6)||08-01-2011||12-14-2013||12-05-2015||San Diego, California|
|USS Montgomery (LCS-8)||06-25-2013||08-06-2014||09-10-2016||San Diego, California|
|USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10)||04-16-2014||02-25-2015|
|USS Omaha (LCS-12)||02-18-2015||11-20-2015|
|USS Manchester (LCS-14)||06-29-2015|
|USS Tulsa (LCS-16)||01-11-2016|
|USS Charleston (LCS-18)||06-28-2016|
|USS Cincinnati (LCS-20)|
|USS Kansas City (LCS-22)|
|USS Oakland (LCS-24)|