U.S. Navy’s Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) underwent the third and final underwater explosion on July 16, thereby completing the Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST).
The Navy began conducting FSST for the Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) off the coast of Florida earlier this month.
The purpose of FSST is to validate the operational survivability of new construction ships after exposure to underwater shock. Three tests were scheduled for the ship and each test was conducted with a 10,000-pound explosive charge.
On Saturday July 16, USS Jackson (LCS 6) was subjected to the third and final underwater explosion as part of her FSST. There were reports of increased seismic activity around the time of the test.
According to the Navy, the ship performed exceptionally well, sustaining minimal damage and returned to port under her own power. A large amount of data was collected during FSST on the majority of shipboard systems and the Navy will compile and analyze the data over the next several months.
Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said this test now completes the physical shock trials for the LCS program and noted the positive reaction by the United States Navy, following the trial.
“We’re very pleased with the performance of the USS Jackson during these Full Ship Shock Trials, following the extensive work program that has been implemented on the ship to meet this standard. Whilst the Navy will continue to assess the results for several months the final test appears to validate the ability of our aluminum trimaran to operate and survive after exposure to underwater shock,” he said.
Prior to any testing, the Navy ensures an exclusion zone is established around the test location. A Notice to Mariners (NOTAM) is released before each shot stating that hazardous conditions to surface vessels may be present and for vessels not involved in the test to remain clear.
Similarly, the Navy takes the safety and security of marine mammals seriously, and all testing is executed to avoid the various migration patterns of marine life. Additional lookouts are posted to detect any marine mammal activity and test shots are not conducted if marine mammals are in proximity.
As part of the test program for the Littoral Combat Ship, the Navy is preparing to conduct FSST on a Freedom variant ship, USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), later this summer off the coast of Florida.