Two Austal vessels complete U.S. Navy acceptance trials

Littoral Combat Ship Charleston (LCS18) during launch at Austal USA's Mobile, Alabama shipyard in Sept 2017. LCS16 (Tulsa) alongside Littoral Combat Ship Charleston (LCS18) during launch at Austal USA's Mobile, Alabama shipyard in Sept 2017. LCS16 (Tulsa) alongside

AUGUST 5, 2018 — Two vessel's built at Austal USA's Mobile, AL, shipyard have completed Navy acceptance trials within days of each other. On August 3, NAVSEA reported that the Navy's 10th Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), Burlington, had successfully completed acceptance trials after two days of underway evaluation in the Gulf of Mexico. That followed closely on the August 1 completion of acceptance trials by LCS 18, Charleston.

Burlington successfully demonstrated the readiness of its equipment and systems for operations, both dockside and underway, for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey. The ship returned to the Austal USA shipyard and will now begin preparations for delivery to the Navy later this year.

"Acceptance trials are a major step towards delivering Burlington to the Navy," said Capt. Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "The ship performed very well this week, which is a great reflection of the commitment of our industry and government team to delivering quality ships."

EPFs are versatile, non-combatant vessels designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, increasing operational flexibility for a wide range of activities including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport.

They are capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading vehicles such as a fully combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. Burlington will have airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104. Also under construction at Austal are future Puerto Rico (EPF 11) and Newport (EPF 12).


Burlington's acceptance trials followed those of the ninth Independence Class LCS, Charleston, which successfully completed its trial program on August 1.

"Austal USA delivered LCS 14 to the Navy at the end of February, LCS 16 at the end of April and will deliver Charleston in the next couple of months. Moving these ships out to the fleet in such rapid succession is a huge accomplishment for our Mobile team and a testament to the supply chain supporting the LCS Program," said Austal USA CEO David Singleton said. "Of the eight Independence-variants LCS Austal has delivered, six are currently homeported at the San Diego Navy Base. These ships are being increasingly utilized by the Navy in operations and the feedback on their versatility and capability is a fantastic endorsement of our unique Austal design" he said.

Austal's LCS program is at a full rate production with several ships currently under construction. Cincinnati (LCS 20) is preparing for sea trials. Final assembly is well underway on Kansas City (LCS 22) and Oakland (LCS 24). Modules for Mobile (LCS 26) and Savannah (LCS 28) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility and Canberra (LCS 30) is in pre-production.



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