Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 21, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, completed acceptance trials in Lake Michigan, manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced today.
Trials included a full-power run, maneuverability testing, and surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship's combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery and machinery control and automation.
Now that trials are complete, the ship will undergo final outfitting and fine-tuning before delivery to the U.S. Navy.
LCS 21 is the eleventh Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and is slated for delivery to the Navy early next year.
"Freedom-variant LCS are inherently capable to serve freedom of navigation, drug interdiction and humanitarian missions, and with additional capabilities onboarded, they can serve further focused missions. On LCS 21's acceptance trials, we successfully tested the ship's maneuverability, automation and core combat capability,” said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager, Small Combatants and Ship Systems.
The Freedom-variant LCS has completed four successful deployments, including LCS 7 (USS Detroit)'s deployment completed this summer. LCS 7 deployed to the U.S. Southern Command supporting the Martillo campaign – a multinational effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in Central American coastal waters.
Regarding LCS' capabilities, U.S. Southern Commander Admiral Craig Faller recently stated, "LCS has become an end-game enabler for U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement authorities who disrupt transnational criminal organizations and the smuggling of deadly narcotics. Adding the LCS to our Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operation is helping save lives."
Unique among combat ships, the focused-mission LCS is designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions and is easily adapted to serve future and evolving missions.