Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 15, the future USS Billings, completed Acceptance Trials in the waters of Lake Michigan. This is the ship's final significant milestone before delivery. LCS 15 is the eighth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin led industry team, 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,” he added.
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, November 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. These are complex vessels, and it takes a strong team effort to design, build and test these American warships,” said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO.
There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, 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 (St. Louis) is scheduled for christening and launch December 15. Additionally, LCS 13 (Wichita) is scheduled for commissioning January 12 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy.
Fincantieri is the leading western shipbuilder with a rich history dating back more than 230 years, and a track record of building more than 7,000 ships. Fincantieri Marine Group is the American subsidiary of Fincantieri, and operates three Great Lakes Shipyards: Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and Fincantieri ACE Marine. Fincantieri Marine Group’s more than 2,100 steelworkers, craftsman, engineers and technicians in the United States specialize in the design, construction and maintenance of merchant ships and government vessels, including for the United States Navy and Coast Guard.