Building begins on future USS Little Rock

MARINETTE, Wisc. (KATV) - The U.S. Navy is celebrating the keel laying of the future U.S.S. Little Rock.

"We are excited about the future contributions to the fleet," said Commander Nate Schneider. "We full expect Little Rock to duplicate, probably exceed, her predecessors."

The traditional ceremony took place Thursday at the Marinette Marine Shipyard in Wisconsin, where the littoral combat ship is under construction. During the ceremony, ship sponsor Janee Bonner authenticated the keel by having her signature welded into it.

"Lay the keel" is a shipbuilding term that marks the beginning of the building process.

The ship is expected to be unlike any other in the world, designed to conduct a variety of missions, including anti-surface, mine and submarine warfare.