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LCS9's Future - The Speculation Continues
10 Jul 2021
In an article in the 09 July, 2021 Sea Power magazine titled "Navy Details 2022 Ship Retirement Schedule", written by Senior Editor Richard R. Burgess, we read the following in part:
ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy has determined its planned ship retirement schedule for fiscal 2022. The list includes 22 ships, including 15 battle force ships.
In a July 2 administrative message, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations announced the plans to decommission 19 ship ships from the fleet and remove from service three ships from the Military Sealift Command.
The list includes . . . four littoral combat ships (LCSs) — three Freedom-class and one Independence-class LCS. . . . .The decommissioning of some littoral combat ships also has attracted congressional attention, given that they are relatively new ships.
Congressional mark-ups of defense bills may challenge some of the proposed retirements.
The (LCS) ships to be retired and the dates in 2022 by which they scheduled for retirement are listed below:
The article includes this interesting tid-bit: "The decommissioning of some littoral combat ships also has attracted congressional attention, given that they are relatively new ships."
It remains to be seen how the Sea Power magazine article will stack-up against the earlier 30 June 2021 USNI posting (see below) !
(Posted on Little Rock website 10 July 2021)
LCS9 Saved from Decommissioning !!
30 June 2021
In a June 29, 2021 article in USNI News titled "House Bill Cuts Money for Navy Nuke Cruise Missile, Saves 3 LCS from Decommissioning" by: Sam LaGrone we read in part:
"House appropriators are cutting development money for the Navy's ship-launched nuclear cruise missile, preventing the service from decommissioning three Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships and adding funds for a second destroyer, according to the House Appropriations Committee defense subcommittee's draft of the Fiscal Year 2022 defense spending bill issued today .
Language in the bill also prevents the Navy from using any funds appropriated in the bill to decommission three LCS. ...USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), USS Detroit (LCS-7), and USS Little Rock (LCS-9)......"
(Posted on Little Rock website 30 Jun 2021)
"U.S. Navy Issues Decommissioning Totals To Congress"
18 June 2021
In an article by NAVALNEWS titled "U.S. Navy Issues FY22 Shipbuilding And Decommissioning Totals To Congress" we learn the U.S. Navy plans to decommission 15 ships FY2022.
The ships will include 7 cruisers, 4 littoral combat (LCS) ships, 1 amphibious ship, 2 attack submarines and 1 fleet tug.
According to the table, the ships to be placed in "OCIR" (Out of Commission in Reserve) status include the following Littoral Class ships:
(Posted on Little Rock website 20 June 2021)
More LCS's to be mothballed ?
29 May 2021
In a May 28, 2021 U.S. Naval Institute article titled "Navy Tries to Cut Four Littoral Combat Ships to Save $186M in FY 22 Budget" by Mallory Shelbourne, we learn of what appear to be ominous signs as to the Navy's plans for one Independence Class and three Freedom Class ships.
The article states "The Navy wants to cut four Littoral Combat Ships from the fleet as part of a cost-saving measure that will net the service $186 million...." and goes on to say: "Budget documents call for cutting the second Independence-class aluminum trimaran USS Coronado (LCS 4) and three Freedom-class variants – USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), USS Detroit (LCS 7) and USS Little Rock (LCS 9) – that have struggled with problems with their propulsion systems."
The article elaborates with "LCSs 7 and 9 have experienced major propulsion train casualties (known combining gear issues) and will incur significant associated repair costs. Decommissioning these two ships includes a cost avoidance strategy, so that scarce maintenance funding can be allocated to the highest priority ships."
The FY 2021 budget proposal seems to suggest that mothballing the first four LCSs - Freedom , Independence, Fort Worth and Coronado – will ostensibly save money that could then be invested in new capabilities.
The Navy is presently set to decommission Independence on July 31, 2021, and Freedom on Sept. 30, 2021.
(Posted on Little Rock website 29 May 2021)
The U.S. Navy's first two littoral combat ships will be mothballed!
21 May 2021
By Geoff Ziezulewicz
The Navy's first littoral combat ship, Freedom (LCS 1), will be decommissioned in September. The ship will head into inactive reserve status 30 on Sept, less than 13 years after the ship was commissioned.
The second LCS, U.S.S. Independence (LCS2), will receive its shadow box on July 31 after just 11½ years of service.
The LCS's were billed as the future of the fleet, agile vessels that could be implemented with various mission modules. However those modules have yet to materialize.
Meanwhile, problems remain on several LCS fronts.
The Navy has told Lockheed Martin it will not accept deliveries of the Freedom-variant LCS until the combining gear issue is fixed. The combining gear system transmits power from the ship's four engines to the propulsion system.
Navy brass remain hopeful that the LCS program will deliver its long-delayed anti-submarine and mine warfare mission packages by next year, which would help the troubled ships carry out the missions for which they were originally intended.
CNO Adm. Mike Gilday said during congressional testimony last month that he was "bullish" on the future of LCS, praising the ships' performance on recent missions in the West Pacific and U.S. Southern Command, where the ships are increasingly taking-on counter-narcotics missions.
(Posted on Little Rock website 21 May 2021)
CNO says "LCS Will Still Have a Role After Propulsion Issue is Fixed"
13 May 2021
In an article written by correspondent John M. Doyle for "Seapower" magazine , posted May 7th, titled "CNO Says LCS Will Still Have a Role After Propulsion Issue is Fixed", we learn Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday says he is "very bullish" about the small surface combatant. "We've got 33 of them. We've got to wring the most operational availability that we can out of those ships" he said on May 6th.
Gilday also said, the Navy will place the long-range Raytheon-Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile on all the LCS, and in about 18 months, start delivering either anti-submarine warfare or mine counter measures modules to the ships — once a defect with the Freedom variant's combining gear is corrected.
"The vendor is doing land based testing," Gilday said, "and once that new design is proven, we will first install those new combining gears in the ships delivering out of Wisconsin, and then we'll back fit some of the older hulls."
Adm. Gilday also said "I'm very bullish about the LCS..... We intend to put them forward in the 5th Fleet and, of course, in the 7th Fleet. "
(Posted on Little Rock website 13 May 2021)
CNO is 'bullish' on Freedom Class LCS's Future
30 Apr 2021
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and acting SecNav Thomas Harker praised the "problematic" Freedom Class LCS during congressional testimony on Thursday 29 April.
"We're very bullish on LCS and where we're headed," Gilday said. He went on to praise the work of the LCS's in recent missions in the west Pacific and in U.S. Southern Command.
He also said the LCS fleet will be getting "beefed up" in the next 18 months, as 31 of the ships will be outfitted with missile systems, while 15 will receive an anti-submarine capability and another approximately 15 ships will receive an anti-mine capability.
Gilday called issues with the combining gear of the Freedom-class ships a "big problem" and that the Navy will not accept deliveries of the Freedom-variant LCS until the combining gear issue is fixed.
He also told the House Appropriations defense subcommittee on Thursday that the Navy is forcing the vendor who made the combining gear to go back to the drawing board for a new design and testing.
(Posted on Little Rock website 30 Apr 2021)
Resolution to LCS9 combining gear issues....?
19 Jan 2021
In an article published by the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) earlier this year, titled "Navy Calls Freedom LCS Propulsion Problem Class-Wide Defect, Won't Take New Ships Until Fixed" (by Sam LaGrone), we learn….. "The Navy has determined that a flaw in the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship's combining gear . . . is an engineering defect that shipbuilder Lockheed Martin now has to fix . . . "
Over the last year, the Navy has linked propulsion failures in USS Detroit (LCS 7) and USS Little Rock (LCS 9) to a defect in the bearings system that links the ship's gas turbines and the ship's diesel engines, which let the ship reach its 40-knot top speed.
In March of 2020 a combining gear failure occurred on LITTLE ROCK. The combining gear failure started with the high-speed clutch," a senior Navy official told USNI News."
The article continues: "A design fix has been developed and is in production, to be followed by factory and sea-based testing."
The fix, according to sources familiar with the planning process, involves replacing the two high-speed clutch bearings with a different bearing version that would not fail as easily.
In the meantime, "other Freedom-class LCS's can still operate up to about 35 knots and still be operational, the source said."
(Reposted on Little Rock website 12 Mar 2021)
Change of Command Ceremony
08 May 2020
At a Change of Command Ceremony held at the Ocean Breeze Conference Center, Naval Station Mayport on 08 May 2020 CDR Lenard Mitchell was properly relieved as Commanding Officer and CDR Brian Crosby officially assumed the duties and responsibilities as Commanding Officer of USS LITTLE ROCK's Blue Crew.
CDR Mitchell was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the ceremony. The award cited his outstanding meritorious service as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer for USS Little Rock Blue from November 2018 to May 2020.
(Posted on Little Rock website 09 May 2020)
Sailing in Style: Little Rock (LCS 9) Opens First Barbershop
26 Feb 2020
USS Little Rock (LCS 9) opened the ship’s first barber shop facility aboard, February 26.
The barber shop is run by Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Ismael Sanchez, born in Nicaragua, who is the only certified barber aboard the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Little Rock.
Sanchez attended the Shipboard Barber School in San Diego, California where he received training on the basic fundamentals of barbershop sanitation and hair-cutting procedures for male and female service members.
"My favorite thing about giving haircuts are the results and seeing the clients’ excitement," said Sanchez. "I enjoy making people happy. I feel like if a client gets a good haircut they feel good about themselves, and I like when people feel good about themselves."
"The most difficult part about setting up the barbershop was finding a space aboard and then acquiring all of the equipment. The first haircut was given to the Executive Officer, and once he approved it, then it was open to all hands," explained Sanchez.
"It was an honor to be the first customer, Petty Officer Sanchez did a terrific job. Petty Officer Sanchez has made a tremendous impact on the crew’s morale by providing this service aboard. The word spread fast throughout the crew, and by the end of the day his signup sheet was full. The ship’s crew enjoys being self-sufficient at sea" said CDR Dominick Albano, Little Rock’s Executive Officer.
The barbershop has been a morale booster among the crew, and the best part is the haircuts are offered for free.
"I love getting my haircut aboard because I don’t have to pay out of my own pocket and Sanchez is a good barber," said Lt. j.g. Zhuoying Chen, communications officer aboard Little Rock.
"The most rewarding thing for me is making people happy after they see their haircut!" said Sanchez.
USS Little Rock (LCS 9) is deployed in the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations.
(Posted on Little Rock website 08 Aug 2020)
USS Little Rock LCS 9 to be getting a “Laser Gun”
22 Feb 2020
Little Rock will be receiving a laser weapon during an upcoming deployment. She will be the fourth U.S. Navy ship to get a “laser gun”.
The laser is reportedly one of our most powerful military lasers, with the ability to damage or destroy small boats, drones, and aircraft.
General Dynamics will install the 150 kilowatt laser weapon system prior to the ship’s deployment to the Navy’s 4th Fleet, responsible for Central and South America.
It has been stated that the laser has enough power to “fry” (depending on local atmospheric conditions) drones and small aircraft as well as do enough damage to sink small boats, such as armed speedboats, by burning holes through the hull or detonating onboard fuel or ammunition.
Integrating the laser should be straight-forward since both the laser and the LITTLE ROCK are made by Lockheed Martin.
(Posted on Little Rock website 07 Mar 2020)
Lt. Cody Kinser “Ship Handler” !
21 Feb 2020
USS Little Rock’s Lt. Cody Kinser has received the “Ship Handler of the Year” award. This award is given to Surface Warfare Officers who demonstrate superior performance while standing Officer of The Deck Underway. Lt. Kinser’s qualifications also include Surface Warfare Officer of the Deck, and Anti-terrorism Tactical Watch Officer.
(Posted on Little Rock website 07 Mar 2020)
USS Little Rock LCS 9 began its maiden deployment
Navy Naval Maritime Defense Industry - 10 Feb 2020
Beginning its maiden deployment, USS Little Rock (LCS 9) departed its Mayport, Florida, homeport Feb. 6 for the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility, where the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship will operate.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet employ forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, fortify the ability of U.S. forces to work with partner nations, and build enduring partnerships, with the goal of enhancing regional security and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean and the Central and South American regions.
Little Rock is expected to conduct operations in support of the multinational Campaign MARTILLO targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along Central America. The ship's operations will involve practical exercises and exchanges with partner nations in support of Campaign MARTILLO, launched in January 2012. Little Rock will also support 4th Fleet interoperability and reinforce the U.S position as the regional partner of choice.
This deployment will be the third to this region and third to include a Freedom-variant LCS in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South's Campaign MARTILLO. The first deployment was made by USS Freedom (LCS 1) in 2010, followed by USS Detroit (LCS 7) in October 2019.
Little Rock will also demonstrate its operational capabilities and allow the Navy to evaluate crew rotation and maintenance plans. While in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions, the ship will rotate deployments of two crews, Blue and Gold, who will rotate aboard every four to five months, maintaining consistency and allowing a continuous presence in the region.
Little Rock will initially be manned by its Gold Crew of more than 90 Sailors, including surface warfare mission-package personnel; a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment; and an aviation detachment, who will operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter and MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Vehicles.
"I expect this deployment to offer a great opportunity to work together with regional partners throughout Southern Command [AOR]," said CDR Brad Long, USS Little Rock Gold Crew's commanding officer. "We hope to advance and strengthen these partnerships to enhance the security in that region."
An LCS is a fast, agile and networked surface combatant, optimized for littoral zones. The primary missions for the LCS include countering threats from diesel submarines, littoral mines and attacks by small surface craft, to assure maritime access for joint forces. The strength of the LCS lies in its innovative modular design, which increases operational flexibility. USS Little Rock was commissioned Dec. 16, 2017, and is the second ship named for the Arkansas capital city.
(Posted on Little Rock website 10 July 2020)
"The U.S. Navy sends one of its newest ships to hunt high-seas drug smugglers."
06 Feb 2020
USS Little Rock LCS 9 departed Mayport on 06 February 2020 headed for the U.S. Southern Command Area in Central America for operations with the US Navy's 4th Fleet.
Little Rock will most likely be conducting operations in support of Campaign MARTILLO, targeting illicit drug trafficking. She recently received a high power laser system which has the ability to damage or destroy small boats, drones, and aircraft.
Sources say Little Rock will initially be manned by her “Gold Crew" as well as a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter and MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned vehicles. She will execute a rotational deployment of Blue and Gold crews about every four months.
(Posted on Little Rock website 12 Feb 2020)
USS Little Rock LCS 9 to get new Laser Weapons System
20 Jan 2020
A January 14, 2020 article titled “The Navy's Smallest Warship Gets a Big Laser Gun” written by Kyle Mizokami in Popular Mechanics magazine tells us Little Rock will receive a laser weapon five times more powerful than the first shipboard laser, deployed five years ago.
Little Rock's laser weapon should give it the ability to damage or destroy small boats, drones, and aircraft.
U.S. Naval Institute News says defense contractor General Dynamics will install the 150 kilowatt laser weapon system.
Integrating the laser should not be difficult in that the laser system and Little Rock are both made by Lockheed Martin.
The weapon system apparently has enough power to fry (depending on local atmospheric conditions) drones and small aircraft. It could most likely also damage or sink small craft, such as the heavily armed speedboats Iran's Revolutionary Guards use, by burning holes through the hull, or by detonating onboard fuel or ammunition.
Little Rock is the fourth U.S. Navy warship to be equipped with a laser weapon system. The first ship was the USS Ponce, followed by USS Dewey and USS Portland.
(Posted on Little Rock website 12 Feb 2020)
Vice Admiral Richard Brown Announce
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