Unveiled in a ceremony on Dec. 16 in Buffalo, New York, the brand new USS Little Rock got only as far as Montreal, Canada. Because of bad weather, the U.S. Navy warship hasn’t moved since Christmas Eve.
The ship will have to spend the winter stuck in Canada, due to cold and ice, according to a Fox News report on Monday.
The USS Little Rock is what’s known as a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Capable of traveling more than 46 miles per hour, the vessel cost $440 million to build and stretches 387 feet in length and weighs 15 tons more than the Statue of Liberty.
Agile combat ships like this are designed for rapid transitions between missions with minimal manning. They are used for surface warfare, counter piracy and drug operations, as well as other first response missions.
According to a report in the Toronto Star, the ship has been equipped with heaters and de-icers to reduce ice accumulation on the hull.
A U.S. Navy spokeswoman told The Star that the ship will remain inactive in Montreal and will not move towards its home port in Mayport, Fla. until weather conditions improve.
“The temperatures in Montreal and throughout the transit area have been colder than normal, and included near-record low temperatures, which created significant and historical conditions in the late December, early January time frame,” Lt.-Cmdr. Courtney Hillson told the newspaper. “Keeping the ship in Montreal until waterways are clear ensures the safety of the ship and crew, and will have limited impact on the ship’s operational schedule.”
In the meantime, the crew stationed on the ship plan to focus on mission training until the weather breaks.