Austal Limited (Austal) announced yesterday that Littoral Combat Ship 8 (LCS 8), the future USS Montgomery, has successfully completed U.S. Navy acceptance trials.

The trials, the last significant milestone before delivery involved comprehensive testing of the vessel’s major systems and equipment by the U.S. Navy. Delivery of the ship to the Navy is planned for later this northern spring.

"Ship after ship, we continue to see improved performance at lower cost." said LCS program manager for the US Navy, Capt. Tom Anderson.

"Montgomery's strong performance during acceptance trials is a testament to the Navy/Industry team that has labored to incorporate lessons learned and deliver this exceptional and affordable ship."

During the four-day trial, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests intended to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling, and auxiliary systems. While underway, the ship successfully performed launch and recovery operations of the 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB), a four-hour full power run, surface and air self-defense detect-to-engage exercises, and demonstrated the ship's maneuverability performing tight turns and accomplishing speeds in excess of 40 knots.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said: “The successful completion of acceptance trials is a significant milestone for Austal and demonstrates how the LCS program is progressively maturing.

“LCS 8 incorporates most of the modifications that have been identified to date following delivery of LCS 6, our first as prime contractor.

“In parallel to the construction of these previously funded vessels, Austal is undertaking design work focused on a potential transition from LCS into the future frigate program for the US Navy from FY2019.

“In addition, Austal is carrying out preparatory work to be ready for the future frigate program in Australia planned for the Royal Australian Navy. This program is scheduled to commence construction in FY2020.”

After LCS 8, Austal will deliver a further nine Littoral Combat Ships from its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, under a U.S. Navy contract for 11 ships worth over US$3.5 billion. Of those, Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and Omaha (LCS 12) are preparing for trials,Manchester (LCS 14) was recently christened, final assembly is well underway on Tulsa(LCS 16), and modules for Charleston (LCS 18) and Cincinnati (LCS 20) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility.

Source: Austal