Builder's trials completed on Freedom-class LCS Little Rock

Builder's trials have been completed on the future Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship USS Little Rock in Lake Michigan by a team from Lockheed Martin.
By Stephen Carlson  |  Aug. 21, 2017 at 12:36 PM
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Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Builder's trials have been completed on the future Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship USS Little Rock in Lake Michigan by an industry team, Lockheed Martin announced on Monday.

The LCS 9 Little Rock went through a series of tests and evaluations of its primary systems and propulsion, including reaching flank speeds of over 40 knots.

"These are complex vessels, and I'm proud of our workforce, who have the knowledge and expertise it takes to design, build and test these American warships," Lockheed Littoral Combat Ships and Systems vice president Joe North said in a press release.

Builder's trials verify the ship before it goes through acceptance instructions and demonstrations for the U.S. Navy pending delivery.

Four Freedom-class LCS vessels have been delivered to the Navy by Lockheed, with the Little Rock and eight others in various stages of production. They will serve alongside the larger Independence-class LCS produced by Austal USA.

The LCS classes of ships are designed to operate close to shore for patrol, interdiction, mine-countermeasures, undersea warfare operations and other missions. The ships' modular design is meant to be outfitted based on mission requirements.

The Freedom-class mounts a Mk 110 57mm gun, two Bushmaster 30mm cannons, and RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles for point-defense against low-flying and sea-skimming targets like anti-ship missiles.

It was designed for carrying the cancelled Non-Line Of Sight missile for surface targets but the launch equipment has since been removed.

The Navy has also released requirements for a frigate-class vessel due to dissatisfaction with the LCS program. LCS's are considered too under-armed, under-crewed, and narrowly focused to fully fulfill the role of frigates in the Navy as planned.

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