MOBILE, Ala. --- The future USS Manchester (LCS 14) successfully completed acceptance trials Dec. 15 after a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.
Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy. During trials, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), intended to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling abilities and auxiliary systems. While underway, the ship 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 and a 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 taking ships to trials with consistently improved performance at decreased cost," said Capt. Mike Taylor, LCS program manager. "Manchester will be an exceptional addition to the rapidly growing in-service LCS fleet."
Following delivery, a post-delivery maintenance availability and crew training and familiarization exercises in Mobile, Alabama Manchester (LCS 14) will sail to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for commissioning. The ship will be homeported in San Diego, California with sister ships USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Coronado (LCS 4), USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Montgomery (LCS 8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and the future USS Omaha (LCS 12).
Several more Independence variant ships are under construction at Austal USA in Mobile. Tulsa (LCS 16) and Charleston (LCS 18) were christened and launched earlier in 2017. Other sister ships, Cincinnati (LCS 20), Kansas City (LCS 22), Oakland (LCS 24) and Mobile (LCS 26) are in varying stages of construction. In addition to these hulls, contracts for LCS 28 and LCS 30 were awarded to Austal in 2017.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, and Mine Countermeasures 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 force access to critical theaters.