The Navy commissioned its newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Little Rock (LCS-9), during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony Saturday, December 16, at the Canalside waterfront in Buffalo, New York.
The future USS Little Rock, designated LCS-9, is the 10th littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the fifth of the Freedom-variant design. It is the second warship named for the Arkansas state capital and will be commissioned alongside the first USS Little Rock (CL-92), which serves as a museum at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.
Arkansas Senator John Boozman delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Mrs. Janee L. Bonner, spouse of the Honorable Josiah «Jo» Bonner, a former U.S. representative from Alabama, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!
«The future USS Little Rock represents much more than the state capital of Arkansas, it represents service», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «This ship would not exist without the dedicated service of the men and women of Marinette Marine, who can be proud of the accomplishment of putting another warship to sea. Once commissioned, this ship will provide presence around the globe for decades to come».
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for Surface Warfare (SUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Mine CounterMeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS-class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered ships, e.g. LCS-1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered ships). Twenty-nine LCS ships have been awarded to date: 11 have been delivered to the U.S. Navy, five are in various stages of construction and three are in pre-production states.
Ship Design Specifications
|Hull||Advanced semiplaning steel monohull|
|Length Overall||389 feet/118.6 m|
|Beam Overall||57 feet/17.5 m|
|Draft||13.5 feet/4.1 m|
|Full Load Displacement||Approximately 3,200 metric tons|
|Top Speed||Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h|
|Range at top speed||1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km|
|Range at cruise speed||4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km|
|Watercraft Launch and Recovery||Up to Sea State 4|
|Aircraft Launch and Recovery||Up to Sea State 5|
|Propulsion||Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion|
|Power||85 MW/113,600 horsepower|
|Hangar Space||Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters|
|One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)|
|Core Crew||Less than 50|
|Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet|
|Integrated Bridge System||Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation|
|Core Self-Defense Suite||Includes 3D air search radar|
|Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system|
|Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System|
|57-mm Main Gun|
|Mine, Torpedo Detection|
|Decoy Launching System|
|USS Freedom (LCS-1)||06-02-2005||09-23-2006||11-08-2008||San Diego, California|
|USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)||07-11-2009||12-07-2010||09-22-2012||San Diego, California|
|USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)||10-27-2011||12-18-2013||11-21-2015||San Diego, California|
|USS Detroit (LCS-7)||08-11-2012||10-18-2014||10-22-2016||San Diego, California|
|USS Little Rock (LCS-9)||06-27-2013||07-18-2015||12-16-2017||San Diego, California|
|USS Sioux City (LCS-11)||02-19-2014||01-30-2016|
|USS Wichita (LCS-13)||02-09-2015||09-17-2016|
|USS Billings (LCS-15)||11-02-2015||07-01-2017|
|USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)||07-18-2016|
|USS St. Louis (LCS-19)||05-17-2017|
|USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)|
|USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)|
|USS Marinette LCS-25|