The test ship for the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mine countermeasure (MCM) mission package shipped out from Naval Station San Diego, Calif., last week.
USS Independence (LCS-2) is heading toward Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. for the major end-to-end evaluation of arguably the complicated mission package for the LCS program.
The test – set for this summer, Naval Sea Systems Command told USNI News – will be the most challenging test of the LCS concept to date.
The operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) will seek to prove four MCM distinct technologies in the first increment of the package –the MH-60S helicopter-deployed airborne laser mine detection system (ALMDS); the mine-killing airborne mine neutralization system (AMNS); the remote minehunting system (RMS), composed of the Lockheed Martin Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) and the Raytheon AQS-20A sonar.
“IOT&E is the event that will transition the mission package from testing to fleet use,” read a statement from the service.
A successful OPEVAL will prove out the Navy’s plan to replace its aging fleet of Avenger-class MCM ships that are among the oldest ships in the service.
In the voyage from California to Florida, Independence will transit Panama Canal and visit Cartagena, Columbia