In this video by NAVSEApa, we are shown the Independence variant of the Littoral Combat Ship USS Jackson (LCS 6) undergoing full ship shock trials (FSST). In June, the Navy conducted the FSST for the LCS 6 just off the coast of Florida. The primary goal of the FSST is to validate the operational survivability and retained capability of newly constructed ships after exposure to nearby underwater explosions.
The requirement for these trials has been identified as a part of a broader, surface combatant, force transformation strategy that recognizes the presence of many threats in regions with shallow seas. Having these kinds of operations also acknowledges that the ability to operate near-shore, and even in rivers, is vital to the success of various missions.
The LCS 6 returned to port at Naval Station Mayport in Florida for inspections, data collection and preparation before and after every blast. On June 10, the US Navy announced that the LCS 6 completed the first of three scheduled FSST explosions, signaling its readiness.
Austal designs and builds defense vessels and multi-mission combatant vehicles, such as the LCS, as well as high-speed military vessels for transport and humanitarian relief, such as the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ships, for the U.S. Navy. They also construct the High-Speed Support Vessel (HSSV) for the Royal Navy of Oman. The LCS 6 is the first ship since 2008 to undergo the FSST, according to the former Program Executive Officer for LCS Rear Adm. Brian Antonio.
On July 16, the LCS 6 completed the FSST and performed exceptionally well during her third and final underwater explosion. This was a significant milestone for the LCS program and Independence variant warship. Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said that the FSST completed the physical shock trials for the LCS program and noted the positive reaction from the US Navy, signalling the ship’s readiness to commence military duties.