Littoral Combat Ship Future USS Oakland Completes Acceptance Trials

The U.S. Navy’s newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Oakland (LCS 24) successfully concluded acceptance trials on May 22 following a series of in-port and underway demonstrations in the Gulf of Mexico.

During trials, the final milestone prior to the ship’s delivery, the Navy conducts comprehensive tests of systems, including those essential to a ship’s performance at sea such as the main propulsion, auxiliaries and electrical systems. The ship also performed critical capability tests, including a full-power demonstration, steering and quick reversal, anchor drop test and combat system detect-to-engage sequence.

“I am impressed with the positive results achieved by the Navy and industry team during this acceptance trial of the future USS Oakland,” said Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program Manager Capt. Mike Taylor. “We continue to see improvements in this class as we work to provide cost-effective warfighting capability to the fleet and the nation.”

USS Oakland (LCS 24)
U.S. Navy’s 12th Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Oakland (LCS 24) departing Austal USA facility on May 20, 2020, for acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Austal USA Photo.

The future USS Oakland is the 12th Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) that will join the U.S. Navy fleet. The vessel honors the long-standing history its namesake city has with the Navy and will be the third naval ship to bear the city’s name.

The vessel was launched on July 21 last year and is planned for delivery later this year.

Following delivery and commissioning, USS Oakland 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), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), USS Omaha (LCS 12), USS Manchester (LCS 14), USS Tulsa (LCS 16), USS Charleston (LCS 18), USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) and USS Kansas City (LCS 22).

The LCS is a high speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant of the U.S. Navy designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. It is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions.

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). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

Four additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. The future USS Mobile (LCS 26) is undergoing final assembly. The modules for the future USS Savannah (LCS 28) and future USS Canberra (LCS 30) also are being erected, and modules for the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are being fabricated. Additionally, Austal USA is preparing for the construction of the future USS Augusta (LCS 34), USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38).

LCS is now the second-largest U.S. Navy surface ship class in production after the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers. In 2019, three LCSs were delivered to the fleet and five will be delivered in 2020 at a pace not seen since the 1990s.

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