Littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8) completed final contract trials, March 17, marking the completion of the construction and initial operating testing of the Navy's eighth LCS.

The trials, administered by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey, are part of a series of post-delivery test and trial events through which the ship and its major systems are exercised.

The five-day trials began with pre-underway and material condition checks followed by at-sea demonstrations. Trial highlights included combat systems air and surface detect-to-engage scenarios, 57mm gun firing exercises, maneuvering testing and operation of the twin boom extendable crane.

Several government and private agencies supported the trials led by PEO LCS; industry partners included Austal USA and General Dynamics Mission Systems, and Southwest Regional Maintenance Center provided logistical support. Additionally, in a move to the blue and gold crewing construct, Montgomery Blue Crew, currently in an off-hull status, successfully demonstrated the support a Blue-Gold model provides.

Constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, the Independence-class vessel is the fourth vessel of the trimaran design. Montgomery is preceded by USS Independence (LCS 2), USS Coronado (LCS 4), and USS Jackson (LCS 6). Montgomery was christened Nov. 8, 2014, and commissioned Sept. 10, 2016, in Mobile.

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. LCS is complementary to the surface fleet, with 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.

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