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SAN DIEGO - The U.S. Navy's Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) completed Final Contract Trials (FCT), May 19.
Navy regulations require a final demonstration of ships' capabilities prior to the end of the contractor warranty period to determine if there are any defects, failures or deterioration other than that due to normal wear and tear. The trial, conducted by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), is part of a series of post-delivery tests and trials during which the ship and its major systems are exercised, tested and corrected as required.
"As the permanent crew for Jackson, I can't be more proud of our ship, her systems and my Sailors' performance during FCT," said Cmdr. Patrick Keller, commanding officer. "Our ship has gone through Full Ship Shock Trials, Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials events, and now FCT, proving once again that she is ready for the next major evolution."
FCT evaluates the material condition and performance of the ship's major systems including main propulsion, ship control systems, combat systems, and damage control systems. Special evolutions demonstrated included the firing of the 57mm gun, maneuvering testing and launch and recovery of the embarked rigid hull inflatable boat.
"We worked hard during FCT, but it was also exciting because this is what we are trained to do," said Mineman 2nd Class Nathan Davis. "We've shown just how strong our ship is and how dedicated our crew is."
After FCT, Jackson begins a Post Shakedown Availability. PSA is the last availability in the ship's construction period, during which required repairs identified during combat systems ship qualification trials and FCT are made using contractor and program office money.
LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.