Yes, the US Navy is trying to blow up a ship. And it's all in the name of survivability for the USS Jackson, one of Uncle Sam's newest Independence-class littoral combat ships. Remember, the Independence-class is the one with the funky trimaran hull. Shown above is the first of three shock trials, with the next two slated for the coming weeks.
Shock trials use real explosives and are a crucial part of a ship's development process. By setting off underwater explosions near a ship, the Navy can analyze exactly how anything from an LCS to an aircraft carrier will respond in a real-world scenario. For more detail, we turn to the Navy.
The Navy told DoD Buzz that "during shock trials, ships experience the effects of 10,000-pound explosive charge detonations which occur successively closer to the ship. These trials are critical to the ship and crew's survivability and provide the best means to assess the shock response of a manned ship and the interaction of the ship's systems and components."
"This is no kidding, things moving, stuff falling off of bulkheads," Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, the LCS' former Program Executive Officer, told USNI News. "Some things are going to break. We have models that predict how electronics are going to move and cabinets are going to move, but some things are going to happen, and we're going to learn a lot from this test."