Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship USS Charleston has completed its acceptance trials, making it the ninth of its type to be delivered.
Acceptance trials involve testing all of the ships major systems and engineering, and mark the last phase before the delivery and commissioning of the ship into service with the U.S. Navy.
"Austal USA delivered LCS 14 to the Navy at the end of February, LCS 16 at the end of April and will deliver Charleston in the next couple of months," Austal CEO David Singleton said in a press release.
"Moving these ships out to the fleet in such rapid succession is a huge accomplishment for our Mobile team and a testament to the supply chain supporting the LCS Program," Singleton said.
The Independence-class is in full-rate production, with the Cincinnati, Kansas City, Mobile, Oakland and Canberra all in various stages of construction and trials.
The LCS is designed to operate close to shore for patrol, interdiction, mine-countermeasures, undersea warfare operations, and other missions. The ship's modular design allows it to be outfitted based on requirements.
They use the Blue/Gold system of multiple crews to increase time at sea and relieve strain on sailors. The Independence-class LCS is larger than the Freedom-class LCS and can carry two helicopters and the MQ-8 FIre Scout UAV. It mounts a variety of light guns and missiles.