U.S. Navy’s Newest Littoral Combat Ship Stuck in Ice for Winter

uss little rock stuck in ice
Crew members of the freedom variant littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9) man the rails during the ship’s commissioning ceremony Dec. 16, 2017 in Buffalo, N.Y. U.S. Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy’s newest Littoral Combat Ship, USS Little Rock, will have to spend its winter up north instead of Florida’s warmer waters after the ship became stuck in ice in Montreal.

The USS Little Rock, which was commissioned in Buffalo, New York on December 16, should be well on its new homeport in Mayport, Florida by now, but a delayed departure and colder-than-normal temps across the region means the ship is now stuck in Montreal indefinitely.

In December, the USS Little Rock was transiting the St. Lawrence River on its way to the Atlantic when it suffered relatively minor damage to “feedback cables”, sending the vessel back to Montreal for repairs.

But while repairs to the cables were completed on Jan. 4, cold weather and ice had already set in, making it impossible for the ship and crew to depart. “The ship was ready to depart Montreal, but the extreme cold, subsequent condition of the St. Lawrence Seaway and availability of icebreakers and support ships caused the delay,” a Navy spokesperson told USNI News.

With no thaw expected for months, the cold weather means the Little Rock could now be stuck in Montreal until March, or whenever the ice melts.

“Because of their extended port visit due to the weather and icy conditions, underway testing and assessments will be adjusted and re-scheduled,” the spokeperson told USNI News.

Little Rock is the fifth Freedom-variant LCS to join the U.S. Navy fleet. She was constructed at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin.