Two ships built at Austal USA’s Mobile Alabama shipyard cleared the last major hurdle before joining the fleet last week.
The expeditionary fast transport Burlington and the littoral combat ship Charleston both successfully completed acceptance trials, according to press releases from Naval Sea System Command and Austal USA.
Austal is coming close to the end of its planned 12 expeditionary fast transports – Burlington is EPF-10, while EPF-11, the Peurto Rico, and EPF-12, the Newport, are under construction.
There is still a ways yet to go on LCS, with more orders expected out of this year’s budget. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act authorized three LCS, but its unclear how many would go to Austal and how many will go to Lockheed’s partner yard in Marinette, Wisconsin.
The LCS Charleston is the ninth of the aluminum trimaran hulls to constructed by Austal and it plans to deliver the ship to the Navy by the end of the year.
The yard is also on various stages of construction for several other LCS, according to the Austal release.
“Cincinnati (LCS 20) has launched and is preparing for trials. Final assembly is well underway on Kansas City (LCS 22) and Oakland (LCS 24),” the release said. “Modules for the future USS Mobile (LCS 26) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility and construction on Savannah (LCS 28) commenced mid-July.”