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Naval Station Mayport-bound LCS, slated to become USS Cooperstown, finishes acceptance trials

LCS 23, the future USS Cooperstown. (U.S. Navy/Released)

The vessel poised to become Naval Station Mayport’s 10th homeported littoral combat ship has completed acceptance trials to be added to the U.S. Navy, defense contractor Lockheed Martin announced this week.

The 378-foot ship known now as LCS 23 will become the USS Cooperstown after commissioning sometime next year, Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Kate Scruggs said.

Crews will fine-tune the ship’s systems and complete outfitting it before delivering it to the Navy, which scheduled it to be added to a growing roster of the contractor’s Freedom variant of LCS at Mayport.

“LCS 23, like other Freedom-variant littoral combat ships, delivers unique flexibility and capability,” Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for small combatants, said in written remarks about the ship. “…During acceptance trials, LCS 23 proved its maneuverability, automation and core combat capability.”

The ship, made for use in relatively shallow coastal areas, was designed to be adaptable for missions involving mine countermeasures, surface combat and anti-submarine warfare.

Standard-equipped with rolling airframe missiles and a Mark 110 gun, parts of the hull can be reconfigured to incorporate Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles.

Trials on Lake Michigan, near the Wisconsin shipyard where it was built, included a full-power run, maneuverability testing, and surface and combat system demonstrations.

The date and place of the ship’s commissioning haven’t been announced, Scruggs said.

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