The US Navy's future Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS 9) USS Little Rock has successfully completed its acceptance trial.

The acceptance trial marks the completion of the final major milestone required before the vessel can be delivered to the US Navy.

It was conducted after the LCS completed a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations on the Great Lakes for the navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).

USS Little Rock underwent comprehensive tests designed to demonstrate the capability of the vessel’s propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems during the trial period.

Additionally, the LCS successfully conducted a full-power run along with various associated steering and manoeuvring events such as quick reversals and quick ahead. 

The vessel also carried out anchor demonstration and successful surface and air self-defence detect-to-engage exercises.

LCS programme manager captain Michael Taylor said: “Of particular note was completion of a full-power demonstration utilising 100% of available propulsion power.

“This mode of operation was previously restricted due to a design issue, which is now resolved.”

USS Little Rock is now expected to sail to Florida following delivery and commissioning, where it will be homeported in Mayport with its sister vessels USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) and USS Detroit (LCS 7).

The ship is planned for delivery during the third quarter of this year.

"USS Little Rock is now expected to sail to Florida following delivery and commissioning, where it will be homeported in Mayport with its sister vessels."

The US Navy previously successfully concluded builder's trials on USS Little Rock on 17 August.

USS Little Rock is one of eight Freedom-variant LCSs contracted for delivery to the US Navy.

The remaining vessels are currently in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant ships and comprises of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine and naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as more than 800 suppliers from a total of 42 US states.

Image: Bow view of the US Navy’s future USS Little Rock (LCS 9). Photo: courtesy of the Lockheed Martin Corporation.