The U.S. Navy’s Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) completed Final Contract Trials (FCT) on Nov 8.
The trials, conducted by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), serve as the final in-depth assessment of newly constructed ships prior to official delivery to the Navy, ensuring the Navy’s standards and requirements are met. The series of events consist of four days of in-port testing followed by one day of at-sea testing. The results of the inspection are documented and corrected prior to the delivery date.
“Final Contract Trials puts the ship and the Sailor through their paces. INSURV brings the most in-depth, comprehensive material inspection our Navy has to offer and I am proud of the outstanding performance of our crew and ship,” said Cmdr. Kevin Meehan, Giffords’ commanding officer. “Giffords achieved the best FCT score in the history of the LCS program and that is the result of our preparation and effort as a team, which is something we should all be proud of.”
Major components of the FCT included damage control drills, simulated surface and air detect-to-engage sequences, twin-boom extendable crane (TBEC) operations, a 57mm gun test, and a full-power run.
“By far, this was the smoothest INSURV I have been a part of,” said Lt. Ryan Hagelin, Giffords’s navigator. “The preparation and work leading up to INSURV allowed the ship and her crew to demonstrate the numerous warfighing capabilities that this class of ship has to offer the fleet.”
USS Gabrielle Giffords now begins a Post Shakedown Availability (PSA), a final construction period prior to delivery to the fleet. The PSA work package consists of corrections of issues identified during Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT) and FCT, and accomplishment of improvements and class changes identified after delivery. Once complete, the ship will become an available asset to the fleet.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for Surface Warfare (SUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Mine Countermeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems, and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain, and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint forces access to critical theaters.
Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE