The future USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) successfully completed acceptance trials May 4, testing the ship's major systems and equipment in port and underway in Lake Michigan.
Built at Marinette Marine, the ship is is the second surface combatant designed and built by a Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-led industry team. The trials, conducted in Lake Michigan from April 30 to May 4, included a four-hour full-power run and both surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship's combat management system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery, and ride control.
Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy. The ship was presented to the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) with high levels of completion.
"Fort Worth performed extremely well during its trials," said LCS Program Manager Capt. John Neagley. "The ship's level of completion coupled with Marinette Marine's excellent craftsmanship resulted in relatively few material deficiencies."
During the four-day trial, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests intended to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems and demonstrated improved performance in comparison to the first ship of the class that, says the Navy, is a result of design stability, facility improvements and production efficiencies by the shipbuilder.
Fort Worth will join sister ships USS Freedom and USS Independence, which have already been commissioned, when she is commissioned September 22, in Galveston, Texas. In addition, Milwaukee (LCS 5) is under construction at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard, and Coronado (LCS 4) and Jackson (LCS 6) are under construction at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.
Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) says that the Navy continues to remain committed to a 55 ship LCS program and is leveraging competition, fixed-price contracting and serial production to reduce construction duration and costs. In addition, the Navy is committed to ensuring that prior to the start of fabrication, the ship design is mature and the requirements are well understood.
"Lessons leaned from our lead ship, USS Freedom, have directly contributed to the successful acceptance trials of our second ship," said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems & Sensors business. "As we continue serial production, we're reducing costs and building these high-quality ships faster."
The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes shipbuilder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company,and naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as domestic and international teammates.
May 7, 2012