Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that the next freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS) will be named the USS Little Rock (LCS 9).
Little Rock is the second ship to bear the name of the capital city in Arkansas. The USS Little Rock (CL-92/CLG-4/CG-4) was originally a Cleveland-class light cruiser that served after World War II, and was one of six to be converted to a Galveston-class guided missile cruiser. She was decommissioned in 1976 and now holds a place of honor as a museum ship in Buffalo, N.Y
Little Rock will be designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal waters. A fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare.
The LCS Class consists of two different hull forms, the Freedom variant and Independence variant – a semi-planing monohull and an aluminum trimaran – designed and built by two industry teams; Lockheed Martin and Austel USA. These seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly as combat needs demand. These mission packages are supported by special detachments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.
Little Rock will be 378 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 57 feet, displace approximately 3,000 tons, and make speed in excess of 40 knots. The construction will be led by a Lockheed Martin industry team in Marinette, Wis.
Additional information about Freedom class Littoral Combat Ships is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1650&ct=4 .