The Navy’s future USS Omaha (LCS 12) successfully conducted its acceptance trials, May 12, after completing a series of graded 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 Navy. During the trial, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests of LCS 12 intended to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling, and auxiliary systems. While underway, Omaha successfully performed launch and recovery operations of the 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat, completed surface and air self-defense detect-to-engage exercises, and demonstrated the ship’s maneuverability through high-speed steering, crash backs, and four-hour full power run.
“The Navy/industry trials team in Mobile has found their stride and, with stability in the serial production line, are bringing ships to trial with consistently improved performance at decreasing cost,” said Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager. “Omaha will be an exceptional addition to the rapidly growing in-service fleet.”
Following delivery, a post-delivery maintenance availability and crew training and familiarization exercises in Mobile, Alabama, Omaha will sail to California for commissioning. Omaha will be homeported in San Diego with sister ships USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Montgomery (LCS 8) and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), which departed Mobile earlier this month.
Several more Independence-variant hulls are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. USS Manchester (LCS 14) is preparing for builders trial this summer, USS Tulsa (LCS 16) was christened and launched earlier this year, and USS Charleston (LCS 18) is scheduled to be christened and launched this fall. Other sister ships, including USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), USS Kansas City (LCS 22), USS Oakland (LCS 24) and USS Mobile (LCS 26), are 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 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.