USS Little Rock’s (LCS 9) Builder’s Trials

The future USS Little Rock’s (LCS 9) Builder’s Trials were completed in Lake Michigan on Aug. 17. The sea trials tested the ship’s performance under a variety of conditions, including situations not likely to occur during the ship’s service life. The fifth Freedom-variant LCS built by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine, completed acceptance trials on Lake Michigan with the highest score of any Freedom-variant LCS to date, earning the right to fly brooms atop its mast signifying a clean sweep of the ship’s sea trials.
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. It is the second ship named after Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas. The ship will cost somewhere between $300 million and $350 million and is said to have many new features. The keel laying ceremony for Little Rock was on 27 June 2013. The mast stepping ceremony took place on 23 April 2015, followed by the christening ceremony on 18 July 2015. Little Rock is presently undergoing sea trials. Current plans are for the ship to be commissioned alongside the original USS Little Rock (CLG-4), in Buffalo, New York in November 2017.
The littoral combat ship (LCS) is a class of relatively small surface vessels intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore) by the United States Navy. It was “envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals.”
The Freedom class and the Independence class are the first two LCS variants. Both are slightly smaller than the U.S. Navy’s guided missile frigates and have been likened to corvettes. They have the capabilities of a small assault transport, including a flight deck and hangar for housing two SH-60 or MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, a stern ramp for operating small boats, and the cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility. Standard armaments include Mk 110 57 mm guns and RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles. They are also equipped with autonomous air, surface, and underwater vehicles. Possessing lower air defense and surface warfare capabilities than destroyers, the LCS concept emphasizes speed, flexible mission modules and a shallow draft.

USS Little Rock’s (LCS 9) Builder’s Trials
USS Little Rock’s (LCS 9) Builder’s Trials
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