NORFOLK, Va., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan completed sea trials following over a year of shipyard maintenance.
The sea trials were conducted to verify the ship's capabilities after it finished shipyard maintenance, which the ship's repair officer, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aaron Dowdy, says included the installation of modified equipment.
"Major equipment that needed testing included radars, the ship's propulsion system and the countermeasure wash down system, which is designed to defend the ship against chemical, biological and radiological attack," Dowdy explained.
The Navy commissioned USS Bataan in 1997, after ordering the vessel from Ingalls Shipbuilding six years earlier. USS Bataan began its maintenance period in February 2015 at BAE Shipyards, and is now listed as in active service.
"The necessary system checks and work by the crew during sea trials makes certain Bataan will be ready to rejoin the fleet and get the crew for their next deployment," Dowdy added. "After a long shipyard period, it feels great to get the ship back out to sea."
Amphibious assault ships are the largest of all Navy amphibious warships, and act as a smaller version of an aircraft carrier for rotary wing aircraft. The Wasp class is designed to provide ship-to-shore movement using helicopters in addition to landing craft.