USS Little Rock LCS 9

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Just in case you've been asleep at the helm....      You need to know that:

1.   At the 2011 USS Little Rock Association Reunion in Buffalo, NY, during RADM Frank Pandolfe's keynote speech at the Saturday Dinner Banquet,
former shipmate and now SECNAV, the Honorable Ray Mabus phoned, and through the guest speaker's phone passed on to the audience the great news that a new USS Little Rock LCS 9 was to be built for the Navy!!

2.   On June 27, 2013 at
Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, Ms. Janee Bonner, wife of U.S. Rep. Joe Bonner (AL) authenticated the new LITTLE ROCK's keel by having her signature welded into it.
This symbolic "keel laying" marked the official start of construction of LCS 9. Several USS Little Rock Association members were present for the ceremony.

3.   And then on July 18, 2015
during our annual USS Little Rock Association meeting , two events occurred.  In the morning at Marinette Marine LCS 9 was christened by Ms. Janee Bonner, and with a great splash slide into the water.  Present for this event were shipmates SecNav Mabus (LTJG 71-72), MCPO Ken Mutzabaugh (YN3 70-72)  and Jerry Tylla (RDSN 59-63).

To top off the day, in the evening, our guest speaker Secretary Mabus announced that the LCS 9 commissioning ceremony, which will (possibly) take place in 2016, will be held in Buffalo, NY where her namesake USS Little Rock CL 92 / CLG 4 / CG 4 is a museum.

4.  On 08 Jan 2016 the USS Little Rock LCS9's crew 109 was commissioned at NavSta Mayport. Click HERE for details

Webmaster - 21 Jan 2016

LCS1 Side View
Photo of lead ship USS Freedom LCS-1

LCS Sea Trials
Freedom Class LCS Sea Trials - "Full Throttle"

The News Release...

U.S. Department of Defense
Published: Fri, July 15, 2011 - 2:11 pm CST
Last Updated: Fri, July 15, 2011 - 3:04 pm CST
The next Littoral Combat Ship will be named USS Little Rock.

WASHINGTON, DC - 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, NY.

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 here.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

On the Web:

More news, with a place to add your comments:

Send us a note on the Association Message Board.

Littoral Combat Ship Class - LCS


LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and Independence variant - designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. These seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called Mission Packages, which can be changed out quickly. 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.

Initiated in February 2002, the LCS program represents a significant reduction in time to acquire, design and build ships in comparison to any previous ship class. USS Freedom (LCS 1), was delivered to the Navy on Sept. 18, 2008. Freedom was constructed by a Lockheed Martin in the Marinette Marine Corporation's shipyard in Marinette, WI. USS Independence (LCS 2) was commissioned Jan. 16, 2010.

In 2007, after unsuccessful efforts to convert cost-plus to fixed price contracts, the Navy terminated contracts with Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics for what would have been LCS 3 and 4. In 2009, fixed price contracts were awarded to each prime contractor. Lockheed Martin has already commenced construction of LCS 3, PCU USS Fort Worth. General Dynamics will build LCS 4, PCU USS Coronado.

Effective competition between industry bidders to build the littoral combat ship (LCS) led the Navy November 3, 2010, to discuss with key Defense Committee members and their staff, as well as industry, the possibility of gaining congressional authorization to award each bidder a 10-ship block buy. The Navy's LCS acquisition strategy to down select to a single design resulted in a highly effective competition and an industry response that resulted in significant potential savings in the LCS program. These competitive bids, coupled with the Navy's desire to increase ship procurement rates to support operational requirements, created an opportunity to award each bidder a fixed-price, 10-ship block buy - a total of 20 ships from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2015.
Freedom Class

Freedom LCS1

USS Freedom LCS1

General Characteristics

Builder: Lockheed Martin
Length: 378 ft. (115.3 meters)
Hull Type: Monohull
Beam: 57.4 ft. (17.5 meters)
Displacement: approx. 3,000 MT full load
Draft: 12.8 ft. (3.9 meters)
Speed: 40+ knots
Independence Class

LCS2 Independence

USS Independence LCS2

General Characteristics

Builder: General Dynamics
Length: 419 ft. (127.6 meters)
Hull Type: Trimaran
Beam: 103.7 ft. (31.6 meters)
Displacement: approx. 3,000 MT full load
Draft: 14.1 ft (4.3 meters)
Speed: 40+ knots
The above data was derived from the "US Navy Fact File" on LCS Littoral Class ships.

Littoral Combat Ship USS Little Rock LCS 9

The Announcement...

SecNav Mabus with LR Mayor Stodola

05 Oct 2011 LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus, left, and the Mayor of Little Rock Mark Stodola

speak during the official naming ceremony for the ninth littoral combat ship USS Little Rock LCS 9.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Newsome/Released)

More info on the Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship

Littoral Combat Ship data sheet

Other data from Wikipedia

LCS 9 Rates
What's it like to work on the Freedom?

NAVSEA's overview of an LCS

LCS 9 Crew Photos

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus' announcement of the naming of LCS6 and LCS8

Remarks by the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy
Announcement of LCS 6 and LCS 8 Names
Mobile, AL
Friday, 24 March, 2011

Joe (Joe Rella, Austal USA President and Chief Operating Officer), thank you, and Senator Sessions and Congressman Bonner, Mayor Jones, and some of the best workers in the world. This is a happy day. Last week we announced the contract award for the seventh and eighth ships of the littoral combat ship class - so we're going to be keeping you busy here Austal.

We're building these ships here for a couple reasons. One is that Austal and General Dynamics worked really hard to get the cost down. And we wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Senator Sessions and Congressman Bonner getting Congress to push through legislation last November and December after the election in the waning days of Congress to allow us to build both versions of the ship, to buy 10 from Austal and 10 from Marinette so that we can get more ships faster, for less money to the Navy. That is a good deal for the Navy, that is a good deal for the taxpayers and that's a good deal for America.  So, thank you and thank y'all.

The second reason we're building them here is because y'all build great ships.

I have got a T-shirt that I was given to me on my last visit here and it's got a picture of an LCS built here at Austal. And it says, "A pirate's worst nightmare." Well, I tell you, it's not only a pirate's worst nightmare, it's a drug runner's worst nightmare. It's a submarine's worst nightmare. It's anybody who wants to do harm to the United States of America or to the United States Navy - it's their worst nightmare, too.

The LCS 2 that you have built here is out on sea trials right now and I can't wait to get it deployed.

The LCS that's already been deployed in the Caribbean in the first three weeks seized over three tons of cocaine. And the reason that it did was, these drug runners' fast boats would be going along and they'd see a Navy ship on the horizon, they'd see a gray hull and they' just assume they could outrun it. Nope, couldn't do it.

The ability with shallow draft, very fast speed and modular weapons systems so that you can take one off, put the other one on - this is going to be one of the backbones of the fleet.

We're going to buy 55 LCSs with Congress' approval so that America will be safe, America will be protected, America will be secure for decades to come, thanks to the things you are doing here.

Now, I've always said that being Secretary of the Navy is one of the coolest jobs on earth, and one of the best things about it is you get to name the ships that sail on behalf of the United States as part of our Navy. And so 6 and 8 just doesn't have that ring to it, thought they needed names. So I want to announce today that LCS 6 will be named for Jackson, Mississippi, which is where I'm from, and LCS 8 for Montgomery, Alabama.

I picked these two names because they represent two great capitals. They represent two great states, but they also represent the workforce that's out here. We got a lot of people from Alabama, but we also got a lot of people from Mississippi that come over and work here at Austal. And this is to honor you, too.

Jackson has never had a ship named after it, and so this will be the first that has ever been named the USS Jackson. There has been one USS Montgomery, named after the state capital here, but it sailed during the Spanish-American War - it was a cruiser. So it's been a few years since Montgomery has been similarly honored.

These two ships will take forth the history and the pride of Alabama and Mississippi for decades to come as they sail around the world, as they do the business of the United States.

Jackson and Montgomery have been through a lot. They have survived wars, they have survived other tumult. They have been part of the crucible that was the Civil Rights revolution. These two ships, the Jackson and the Montgomery, will protect the freedoms that were won in 1776 and in the 1960s. These two ships represent what is best about America and how good American products are that are built here at Austal.

Thank y'all very much.

Little Rock Association Message Board