FEBRUARY 27, 2019 – Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer has approved Key West, Florida as the site for the commissioning of the future USS Billings (LCS 15). The event will take place in August 2019. The specific date has yet to be announced.
The future USS Billings is the 17th littoral combat ship (LCS) to be delivered to the Navy and the eighth of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Billings (LCS 15) during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), shipyard, Marinette, Wisconsin, Feb. 1. Delivery marks the official transfer of the ship from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning.
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).
The first U.S. navy ship named for the city in Montana.
Secretary of the Navy Raymond E. Mabus Jr., announced the assignment of the name Billings to (LCS-15) on 6 June 2013. The littoral combat ship was laid down at Marinette, Wisc., by Marinette Marine Corp. (Lockheed Martin), on 2 November 2015; launched on 1 July 2017; sponsored by Mrs. Sharla Tester, wife of Senator Jonathan Tester of Montana; completed her acceptance trials in the waters of Lake Michigan on 7 December 2018; and was delivered on 1 February 2019.
Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet