The future USS Savannah (LCS-28) successfully completed acceptance trials on May 14 during demonstrations both in-port and underway in the Gulf of Mexico, the Navy said this week.

During these trials, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the

Independence-variant’s littoral combat ship’s (LCS’s) main propulsion, auxiliary and electrical systems. During the event, the ship also performed a full-power demonstration, steering and quick reversal, an anchor drop test and combat system detect-to-engage sequence. 

LCS-28 was built by Austal USA at its shipyard in Mobile, Ala.

The service noted acceptance trials are the last major milestone before a ship is delivered to the Navy. The delivery of LCS-28 is planned for late June.

“I continue to be impressed with the outstanding results achieved by the Navy and industry team during acceptance trials for LCS ships. The future USS Savannah set the bar even higher and exceeded expectations. Our warfighting capabilities continue to evolve, and each LCS that meets this milestone further demonstrates progressive improvements in tactical performance and mission readiness,” LCS program manager Capt. Mike Taylor, said in a statement May 26.

After the Savannah is delivered and commissioned with the service, it will sail to its homeport in San Diego, Calif. with its sister Independence-variant littoral combat ships LCS-2 through LCS-26.

Austal USA is currently building four more Independence-variant LCSs in Mobile with final assembly underway on the future USS Canberra (LCS-30) and Santa Barbara (LCS-32). The company is also fabricating modules for the future USS Augusta (LCS-34) while initial fabrication of the Kingsville (LCS-36) has begun. Later this year, the company is expected to start fabrication on the future USS Pierre (LCS-38).

The Navy noted LCS is the second-largest Navy surface ship class in production, behind the Arleigh Burke-class DDG-51 guided-missile destroyer. In 2019, three LCSs were delivered to the fleet, four were delivered in 2020, and the Navy expects another four to deliver over 2021. 

LCS is now the Navy’s second-largest surface ship class in production, behind the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer program. In 2019, three LCSs were delivered to the fleet, four were delivered in 2020, and four will again deliver in 2021 — a shipbuilding delivery pace not seen since the 1990s.

Earlier this month, the Navy commissioned the 13th Independence-variant LCS, the USS Mobile (LCS-26) (Defense Daily, May 21) while in April the Navy commissioned the USS Oakland (LCS-24) (Defense Daily, April 16).

In February, former Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle resigned against a background of U.S. and Australian investigations concerning work on the LCS program before 2016 (Defense Daily, Feb. 23).

Separately, Lockheed Martin [LMT] is the prime contractor for the odd-number Freedom-variant LCS built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin.