The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Billings (LCS-15) during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), shipyard, Marinette, Wisconsin, February 1.
The future USS Billings (LCS-15) is the 17th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to be delivered to the U.S. Navy and the eighth of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for later this year.
«Today marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Billings», said LCS program manager Captain Mike Taylor. «I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this fine ship alongside the crew later this year where she will play an essential role in the new fleet of warships that will carry out our nation’s future maritime strategy».
Several additional Freedom-variant ships are under construction at FMM. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) is preparing for trials this summer. The future USS St. Louis (LCS-19) was christened and launched in December. The future ships USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21), USS Cooperstown (LCS-23), USS Marinette (LCS-25), USS Nantucket (LCS-27) and USS Beloit (LCS-29) are also in various stages of production, with yet-to-be-named LCS-31 awarded last month.
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused 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.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Lockheed Martin-led team builds the odd-numbered hulls. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
LCS is now the second-largest surface ship class in the U.S. Navy. In 2018, five LCSs were delivered to the fleet, and three are scheduled for delivery in 2019.
Ship Design Specifications
|Hull||Advanced semiplaning steel monohull|
|Length Overall||389 feet/118.6 m|
|Beam Overall||57 feet/17.5 m|
|Draft||13.5 feet/4.1 m|
|Full Load Displacement||Approximately 3,200 metric tons|
|Top Speed||Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h|
|Range at top speed||1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km|
|Range at cruise speed||4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km|
|Watercraft Launch and Recovery||Up to Sea State 4|
|Aircraft Launch and Recovery||Up to Sea State 5|
|Propulsion||Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion|
|Power||85 MW/113,600 horsepower|
|Hangar Space||Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters|
|One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)|
|Core Crew||Less than 50|
|Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet|
|Integrated Bridge System||Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation|
|Core Self-Defense Suite||Includes 3D air search radar|
|Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system|
|Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System|
|57-mm Main Gun|
|Mine, Torpedo Detection|
|Decoy Launching System|
|USS Freedom (LCS-1)||06-02-2005||09-23-2006||11-08-2008||San Diego, California|
|USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)||07-11-2009||12-07-2010||09-22-2012||San Diego, California|
|USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)||10-27-2011||12-18-2013||11-21-2015||San Diego, California|
|USS Detroit (LCS-7)||08-11-2012||10-18-2014||10-22-2016||San Diego, California|
|USS Little Rock (LCS-9)||06-27-2013||07-18-2015||12-16-2017||San Diego, California|
|USS Sioux City (LCS-11)||02-19-2014||01-30-2016||11-17-2018||Mayport, Florida|
|USS Wichita (LCS-13)||02-09-2015||09-17-2016||01-12-2019||Mayport, Florida|
|USS Billings (LCS-15)||11-02-2015||07-01-2017||Mayport, Florida|
|USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)||07-18-2016||04-18-2018|
|USS St. Louis (LCS-19)||05-17-2017||12-15-2018|
|USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)||02-22-2018|
|USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)||08-14-2018|
|USS Marinette LCS-25|
|USS Nantucket (LCS-27)|
|USS Beloit (LCS-29)|