Seventh Freedom-variant LCS wraps up acceptance trials

Aerial photo of future USS Wichita during sea trials. Photo: Lockheed Martin

The US Navy’s seventh Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Wichita (LCS 13), has completed acceptance trials in the waters of Lake Michigan.

The next step for the vessel will be the delivery to the US Navy which is scheduled to take place later this summer.

During her trials, which took place between July 9 and 12, Wichita tested her maneuverability and demonstrated the air detect-to-engage capability of the ship’s combat system. Other trials included including aviation support capability and small boat launch handling and recovery.

The future USS Wichita is one of eight ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one more in long-lead production.

The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 15, the future USS Billings. LCS 15 is scheduled to complete sea trials this year.

“LCS 13’s completion of acceptance trials means this ship is one step closer to joining the fleet and conducting critical maritime operations for the Navy,” said Joe DePietro, vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin. “This ship is agile, powerful and lethal, and the industry team and I are looking forward to her delivery, commissioning and deployment.”

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