The following is the text of a news release from Lockheed Martin:
(MARINETTE, Wis.) — Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine delivered the future USS Little Rock (LCS 9) to the U.S. Navy on Sept. 25.
The future USS Little Rock, the fifth Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) built by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine, is scheduled to be commissioned in Buffalo, N.Y., later this year. It will be the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned next to its decommissioned namesake.
“We look forward to the day the future USS Little Rock joins the fleet. Her superb sea trials performance highlights the success of the production and performance improvements achieved as a result of serial production," said Joe DePietro, vice president of small surface combatants and ship systems. “This milestone would not have been possible without the extraordinary contributions of all Freedom-variant LCS teammates.”
LCS 9 completed acceptance trials last month with the highest score of any Freedom-variant LCS to date, earning a “clean sweep.” During sea trials, the industry team also successfully demonstrated performance improvements which will be incorporated into all future Freedom- variant littoral combat ships.
“Today’s important milestone for LCS 9 was made possible by the investment and improvements made to our serial production line, which allowed us to realize our vision for a full-flex shipyard,” said Jan Allman, FMM president and CEO. “Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s shipbuilders are proud to deliver this proven warship, and we look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to continue building these highly capable ships for the fleet.”
Named in honor of the patriotic and hard-working citizens of Little Rock, LCS 9 will be the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of Arkansas’ largest city. Its home port will be Naval Station Mayport, where it will join USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) and USS Detroit (LCS 7).
The Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom variant of the LCS, and has delivered five ships to the U.S. Navy to date. There are seven ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one more in long-lead production.
The Freedom-variant LCS team is comprised of Lockheed Martin, shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states.