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Thursday, May 28, 2020 

Western Australia-based Austal says that the future 'USS Oakland' (LCS 24), the 12th Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama for the US Navy, has successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

Austal CEO David Singleton said: “Austal USA has clearly answered the call, as part of a mission-essential industry, to continue operations during the Covid-19 pandemic and deliver on commitments to the US Navy. The completion of acceptance trials for LCS 24 during this time of adversity is an outstanding achievement and a great acknowledgement of the skills and commitment of the Austal USA team.”

Acceptance trials involve the execution of a number of tests by the Austal USA-led industry team while the vessel is underway; demonstrating to the Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment. The trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship, scheduled for June 2020.

The Independence-class LCS is a high-speed, shallow-draught surface combatant with an aluminium trimaran hull. The ships are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance along coastal waters. LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare missions. USS Montgomery (LCS 8) and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) continue their successful deployment with the Pacific fleet, while seven other Independence-variant LCS are homeported in San Diego, USA.

Austal USA’s Independence-class programme has six ships currently under construction including Oakland. The future USS Mobile (LCS 26) has been launched and is preparing for trials. Final assembly is well underway on the future USS Savannah (LCS 28) and USS Canberra (LCS 30), while modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are under construction in the Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF). Austal USA cut the first aluminium to mark start of construction for the future USS Augusta (LCS 34) in early April.

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