The surface warfare mission module for the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) has undergone initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) aboard a Freedom variant of the ship, the Navy said Monday.

The USS Fort Worth's 57 mm gun. Photo: Defense Daily.
The USS Fort Worth’s 57 mm gun. Photo: Defense Daily.

The testing was done aboard the USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) off the coast of southern California over the past two months and was completed on Apr. 21, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said. A final report on the performance of the surface warfare mission module in the IOT&E is due this summer, the command said.

The IOT&E is a precursor to declaring initial operational capability for the surface modules, which is planned for 2014. The surface warfare, or SuW, package consists of two 30mm guns, two 11-meter inflatable boats, and an MH-60R Romeo helicopter in addition to the manning. The ships also have a fixed 57 mm gun.

The SuW package is one of three mission modules under development for the LCS, along with anti-mine and anti-submarine warfare, and is designed to counter small, fast moving attack boats. The testing involved live firing and the engagement of small, unmanned boats.

The testing of the SuW package on an Independence LCS variant is scheduled for 2015 on the USS Coronado (LCS-4).

Lockheed Martin [LMT] is the prime contractor for the Freedom variant, while Austal USA builds the Independence version of the LCS.