USS Little Rock Trapped in Ice
The U.S. Navy's newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9) is trapped on the shores of Montreal and unable to set sail until spring.
USS Little Rock was commissioned in Buffalo, New York, on December 16 and was headed for her home port in Jacksonville, Florida, when she got trapped in ice in the St Lawrence Seaway after a routine port visit to Montreal. A sustained cold snap caused ice to form faster than normal in the area, and USS Little Rock is now expected to be able to sail again in March.
The vessel was built by Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard. She is the first of eight Freedom-class littoral combat ships to be homeported in Mayport, Florida. Freedom-class ships are 378.5 feet long with a 57.4-foot beam and have 3,000 metric tons displacement (with a full load). Draft is 12.8 feet and top speed exceeds 40 knots.
USS Little Rock will be the fifth in the fleet of the odd-numbered Freedom variant, featuring a steel double-chine advanced semi-planing monohull design. The even-numbered littoral combat ships are of the Independence-variant featuring stabilized slender monohulls of aluminum.
Manned by a crew of fewer than 100 sailors operating under a concept known as the “3-2-1 plan,” the Navy will rotate three crews for every two ships, keeping one of those ships underway at all times. The ships will have a core crew of about 50 sailors, then a specialized crew for each type of mission.
Smaller than a frigate, the LCS is an agile force multiplier in gaining and sustaining maritime supremacy while conducting operations consisting of freedom of navigation, theater and maritime security, maritime law enforcement, counter-piracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, search and rescue and maritime domain patrols.