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Future USS Gabrielle Giffords completes acceptance trials

By Ryan Maass

MOBILE, Ala., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The future littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords completed the acceptance trials needed to enter service with the U.S. Navy.

The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command says the tests were conducted to assess a variety of the ship's capabilities. The trial consisted of a series of in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey, or INSURV. Acceptance trials are the last milestone before ships are delivered to the service.

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"Another thorough trial by INSURV, and another ship with improved scores and at a lower cost than her predecessor," LCS program manager Capt. Tom Anderson said in a press release. "LCS 10 is an exceptional ship which brings the Navy operational flexibility at an affordable price."

During the trials, testers examined Gabrielle Giffords' launch-and-recovery and defense operations. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in Galveston, Texas.

Littoral combat ships are relatively small naval vessels used to project power in a maritime environment closer to the shore than its counterparts.

The vessel is named for former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who survived a gunshot to the head during an assassination attempt in Tucson, Ariz., in 2011. Eighteen other people were shot in the attack, and six died.

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