The US Navy is set to commission littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9) in a ceremony on Saturday, December 16, at the Canalside waterfront in Buffalo, New York.
The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship is the 10th LCS to enter the fleet and the fifth of the Freedom-variant design.
Little Rock is also the second warship named for the Arkansas state capital and will be commissioned alongside the first USS Little Rock (CL 92), which serves as a museum at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.
Arkansas Senator John Boozman will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Mrs. Janee L. Bonner, spouse of the Honorable Josiah “Jo” Bonner, a former US representative from Alabama, is serving as the ship’s sponsor.
The navy will stream the ceremony on the Navy Live blog – go to website
“The future USS Little Rock represents much more than the state capital of Arkansas, it represents service,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “This ship would not exist without the dedicated service of the men and women of Marinette Marine, who can be proud of the accomplishment of putting another warship to sea. Once commissioned, this ship will provide presence around the globe for decades to come.”
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 ships, e.g. LCS 1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered ships). Twenty-nine LCS ships have been awarded to date: 11 have been delivered to the Navy, five are in various stages of construction and three are in pre-production states.