The ship is named in honor of Billings, the largest city in Montana, as well as the people and military veterans of the state. The future USS Billings will be the first ship of its name in naval service.
“Having now commanded two freedom class LCS variants, I would like to report that these ships are truly impressive and will fit well in the niche they have been designed for. “They are fast, maneuverable, and their weapon systems are some of the most accurate I’ve witnessed on any platform of which I’ve previously served.”
LCS 15’s Commanding Officer, Commander Nathan Rowan
“Billings was designed to operate and adapt to a rapidly changing environment. She is equipped and ready for today’s threats and easily modifiable to meet the threats we may not even be aware of yet. Our team is confident Billings will be what the Navy needs when the fleet needs it.”
Joe DePietro, vice president of Small Combatants and Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin
Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet.
- It is fast — capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.
- It is automated — with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
- It is lethal — standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
- It is flexible — with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, integrating capabilities like the Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles targeted to meet today’s and tomorrow’s missions.
There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, where the Freedom-variant LCS is built. The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 17, the future USS Indianapolis, which was delivered in late July.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin, Marinette, Wisconsin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).