U.S. Navy officials accept delivery of future LCS USS Little Rock
MARINETTE, Wis. U.S. Navy officials accepted delivery of future Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Little Rock (LCS-9) during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) shipyard on September 25.
Little Rock is the 11th LCS delivered to the Navy and the fifth of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for December in Buffalo, New York.
Several additional ships of the Freedom variant are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. The future USS Sioux City (LCS 11) is preparing for trials later this fall. The future USS Wichita (LCS 13) was christened/launched in September 2016 and is currently conducting system testing in the Menominee River, preparing for trials in the spring of 2018.
The future USS Billings (LCS 15) was christened and launched in July and is projected to commence trials in the fall of 2018. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) is preparing for launch this winter while the future USS St. Louis (LCS 19)’s keel was laid earlier this spring and is undergoing construction in FMM’s erection bays. The future USS Minneapolis St. Paul (LCS 21) started fabrication in February while the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23) started fabrication in September. The future USS Marinette (LCS 25) is in the pre-production phase, having been awarded in 2016.
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 hulls, e.g. LCS 1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls). Twenty-seven LCS ships have been awarded to date: 11 have been delivered to the Navy, 13 are in various stages of construction, and three are in pre-production states.