The two littoral ships quietly retire in Mayport, Florida

The United States Navy quietly bid farewell to two more of its littoral combat ships (LCS), USS Detroit (LCS-7) and USS Little Rock (LCS-9), in a decommissioning ceremony held last Friday, September 29. This decision comes after just six and seven years of service for the respective vessels.

The LCS-7 and LCS-9, belonging to the US Navy’s Freedom class, were retired early due to major design flaws that rendered them unsuitable for continued service.

A Look Back at Their Service

The decommissioning ceremony, presided over by LCS-7 Commanding Officer Cmdr Kyle Hickman, reminded us of the significant roles these ships played in safeguarding the nation’s waters.

USS Detroit and USS Little Rock were deployed for intelligence-gathering operations and patrols, contributing to the US international anti-drug trafficking campaign.

USS Little Rock LCS-9
Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9) / Image source: DVIDS

Unfortunately, both vessels encountered frequent breakdowns of their combining gear, a crucial component of their propulsion systems. These mechanical failures were attributed to construction and design discrepancies that plagued the Freedom class.

The issues were particularly severe for LCS-7, which was forced to cut short its missions to Latin America due to recurrent malfunctions.