By Ben Werner
A commissioning ceremony was held in Buffalo, N.Y. today for USS Little Rock (LCS-9), the latest Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship.
The ceremony was held next to the museum ship, the decommissioned USS Little Rock (CG-4), a World War II-era Cleveland-class light cruiser that was converted to a guided-missile destroyer.
Little Rock is the tenth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the fifth of the Freedom-class LCS variant, according to the service.
Both Independence-class builders Austal USA and Freedom’s Lockheed Martin are working on 13 more ships in various stages of production, and three in preproduction. Contracts for 29 littoral combat ships have been expected, and three more could be purchased, according to analysis by the Congressional Research Service.
The littoral combat ship is a modular, reconfigurable ship with three types of mission packages. Ships such as Little Rock can conduct surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare operations.
Footage of Little Rock on Friday showed a ship covered in snow, pier side in an ice-covered Lake Erie. The Buffalo- area received between 2 and 4 inches of snow on Friday.
But then winter snow in Buffalo is nothing new. Last Sunday, the Buffalo Bills hosted the Indianapolis Colts in nearby Orchard Park, in a game played in near white-out conditions. According to the Buffalo Bills, 8 inches of snow accumulated in the stadium during the game between noon and 4 p.m.