The U.S. Navy’s newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Billings (LCS 15), completed Acceptance Trials in the waters of Lake Michigan.
This is the ship’s final significant milestone before delivery to the Navy. The future USS Billings honors the largest city in Montana. It is the first ship of its name in naval service.
LCS 15 is the eighth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team. The vessel was launched in July last year and is slated for delivery to the U.S. Navy next year.
“LCS 15 is the third ship we’ve taken through sea trials this year, and we are proud that the Navy will soon have another capable, lethal and affordable ship in the fleet,” said Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager, Small Combatants and Ship Systems, Lockheed Martin. “The industry team has hit its stride in serial production, and we’re producing increasingly capable ships in quick succession.”
The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. The Lockheed Martin-led Freedom team is in full-rate production and is continuing to deliver for the Navy. The USS Sioux City (LCS 11) was commissioned in Annapolis, Maryland, Nov. 17.
The trials, included a full-power run, maneuverability testing, and surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery and machinery control and automation.
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused missions including mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
“I am extremely proud of our LCS team including our shipbuilders at Fincantieri Marinette Marine,” said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO. “These are complex vessels, and it takes a strong team effort to design, build and test these American warships.”
There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), where the Freedom-variant LCS is built. The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 17, the future USS Indianapolis, slated for sea trials in 2019. LCS 19 (Future USS St. Louis) is scheduled for christening and launch Dec. 15. Additionally, LCS 13 (Future USS Wichita) is scheduled for commissioning Jan. 12 in Jacksonville, Florida.