USS Montgomery (LCS 8) conducts a live-fire exercise with the ship’s MK 110 MOD 0 57mm Gun Weapon System and ALEX Decoy Launching System. The exercise is part of Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials (CSSQT) during which the crew demonstrates complete operability of the ship’s entire combat systems suite.
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) is an Independence-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. She is the fourth ship to be named for Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. In 2002, the U.S. Navy initiated a program to develop the first of a fleet of littoral combat ships. The Navy initially ordered two trimaran hulled ships from General Dynamics, which became known as the Independence-class littoral combat ships after the first ship of the class, USS Independence. Even-numbered U.S. Navy littoral combat ships are built using the Independence-class trimaran design, while odd-numbered ships are based on a competing design, the conventional monohull Freedom-class littoral combat ship.
The initial order of littoral combat ships involved a total of four ships, including two of the Independence-class design. On 29 December 2010, the Navy announced that it was awarding Austal USA a contract to build ten additional Independence-class littoral combat ships. The ship is the third Independence-class vessel to feature improvements over the Independence (LCS-2) design, including standard 7 metres (23 ft) long rigid-hulled inflatable boats and improved corrosion protection and propulsion.
The Independence class is a class of littoral combat ships built for the United States Navy. The hull design evolved from a project at Austal to design a 40 knot cruise ship. That hull design evolved into the high-speed trimaran ferry HSC Benchijigua Express and the Independence class was then proposed by General Dynamics and Austal as a contender for Navy plans to build a fleet of small, multipurpose warships to operate in the littoral zone. Two ships were approved, to compete with Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-class design.