The US Navy’s ninth littoral combat ship and the future USS Little Rock (LCS 9) has completed builder’s trials.
The ship’s sea trials took place in Lake Michigan and concluded on August 17, after a successful set of demonstrations which saw the fifth Freedom-variant LCS hit speeds of over 40 knots.
Sea trials are designed to test the ship’s performance under a variety of operating conditions.
According to Lockheed Martin who built the ship, the industry team demonstrated reliability and performance improvements on the ship’s propulsion system. All future Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships will incorporate these improvements.
The Lockheed Martin-led team is now preparing Little Rock for acceptance trials in the coming weeks, when the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) will conduct inspections and witness final demonstrations before the ship is delivered to the Navy this year.
Named in honor of the patriotic and hardworking citizens of Little Rock, LCS 9 will be the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of Arkansas’ largest city.
The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered four ships to the US Navy to date.
The team is on track to complete sea trials for LCS 9 and LCS 11 this year and deliver each ship shortly thereafter. The remaining hulls under contract will be delivered to the U.S. Navy at a rate of two ships per year.