The Navy’s Newest Warship Went to Canada. Now it’s Stuck in Ice.
The U.S. Navy’s brand new littoral combat ship, the USS Little Rock, was commissioned in on Dec. 16. The ship was supposed to be sailing to much warmer water, but Mother Nature has been less-than-cooperative. The ship is now stuck in the ice after unexpected winter weather has frozen its path to open waters.
The USS Little Rock was commissioned in Buffalo, New York. The ship will eventually be based at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
“The ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Todd Peters, decided to delay the departure from Buffalo for three days because of weather conditions on Lake Erie,” We Are The Mighty writes. “It left on Dec. 20, traveling through the Welland Canal to reach Lake Ontario and then through the St. Lawrence Seaway for a regularly scheduled stop in Montreal.”
The ship made it to Montreal and was supposed to have made it to Halifax, Nova Scotia by the end of the year.
That plan, too, has been delayed. The ice has kept the ship from reaching the Atlantic, and it is currently in Montreal, still.
The crew is reportedly handling routine maintenance to pass the time. They made needed repairs to the waterjet propulsion system, and are now taking on routine tasks as they wait.
The Little Rock is the latest ship to enter service with the U.S. Navy. LCS 9 was commissioned two days after the USS Portland, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock.
The Little Rock is the latest littoral combat ship. There are five in service now, and all have experienced problems with their propulsion systems. The ships are designed to take on a multitude of tasks, depending on their mission.
The USS Little Rock is 389 feet long and has a draft of 13.5 feet. On open, unfrozen, waters, the ship can reach top speeds of more than 45 knots.
So how long will it take the USS Little Rock to make it to Florida, and how long before it can begin training with its weapon systems?