Final Contract Trials

Littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) completed final contract trials, March 17, marking the completion of the construction and initial operating testing of the Navy’s eighth LCS.

Official U.S. Navy file photo of littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) completing its maiden voyage from Mobile, Alabama, to San Diego, November 8, 2016
Official U.S. Navy file photo of littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) completing its maiden voyage from Mobile, Alabama, to San Diego, November 8, 2016

The trials, administered by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, are part of a series of post-delivery test and trial events through which the ship and its major systems are exercised.

The five-day trials began with pre-underway and material condition checks followed by at-sea demonstrations. Trial highlights included combat systems air and surface detect-to-engage scenarios, 57-mm gun firing exercises, maneuvering testing and operation of the twin boom extendable crane.

«I am exceptionally proud of the USS Montgomery (LCS-8) team and the combined efforts of the blue and gold crews, Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS), Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, and all of the other contributors who worked to create this successful outcome», said Commander Mark Stefanik, Montgomery’s commanding officer. «Montgomery has continued to raise the bar and we are looking forward to her next challenge and a successful introduction to fleet operations».

Several government and private agencies supported the trials led by PEO LCS; industry partners included Austal USA and General Dynamics Mission Systems, and Southwest Regional Maintenance Center provided logistical support. Additionally, in a move to the blue and gold crewing construct, Montgomery Blue Crew, currently in an off-hull status, successfully demonstrated the support a Blue-Gold model provides.

«Montgomery is our ship, both blue and gold crews, and we continue that legacy even while off-hull», said Commander Daniel Straub, Montgomery Blue Crew commanding officer. «We put a lot of hard work and sweat equity into the ship during the pre-commissioning phase, commissioning, and sail-around to homeport San Diego. Our commitment to the ship remains constant whether on-hull or off-hull, and we are excited and motivated that we knocked these final contract trials out of the park».

Constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, the Independence-class vessel is the fourth vessel of the trimaran design. Montgomery is preceded by USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Coronado (LCS-4), and USS Jackson (LCS-6). Montgomery was christened November 8, 2014, and commissioned September 10, 2016, in Mobile.

LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. LCS is complementary to the surface fleet, with the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.


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
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
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
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
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules



Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
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 05-12-2016
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)