Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) have delivered the US Navy’s newest Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS 9), which is the future USS Little Rock.

Little Rock is the fifth ship of the Freedom variant that has been jointly constructed by the two companies.

Slated to be commissioned with the US Navy in Buffalo, US, later this year, the vessel will be the first navy ship to be commissioned next to its namesake, the decommissioned USS Little Rock, a World War II-era Cleveland-class light cruiser.

LCS 9 is named in honour of the patriotic and hardworking citizens of Little Rock and will be the second navy vessel to be named after the Arkansas city in the US.

Little Rock will be homeported in Naval Station Mayport where it will join the US Navy ships, USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) and USS Detroit (LCS 7).

LCS 9 completed acceptance trials last month, during which the ship demonstrated the capabilities of its propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems. It received the highest score of any Freedom-class LCS to date.

Prior to this, the LCS successfully completed the Builder’s Trials, which were designed to evaluate the vessel’s performance under a wide range of operating conditions.

The Lockheed Martin and FMM are currently carrying out the full-rate production of the LCSs.

The companies have delivered five Freedom-class vessels to the US Navy to date. There are seven LCSs under various stages of construction at FMM, with another in long-lead production.