Navy to Commission Newest Freedom-Variant Littoral Combat Ship

Jeff Brody

The U.S. Navy will commission its newest Freedom-class littoral combat ship into service on Saturday at the Naval Air Station in Key West, Fl. The Lockheed Martin-build USS Billings, named after the largest city in Montana, to support the Navy’s missions in near-shore and open-ocean environments, the Department of Defense said Wednesday.

It will be the eighth Freedom-variant ship owned by the service branch and will work to counter “anti-access” threats like high-speed craft, mines and quiet diesel submarines. Lockheed Martin leads the industry team tapped to design and manufacture the Freedom-class vessels, while Austual USA spearheads the production of the Independence-variant under the LCS program.

Sen. Jon Tester, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, will deliver the principal address at the commissioning ceremony.

You may also be interested in...

Derek Tournear

SDA Director Derek Tournear: Satellite, Launch Prices Have Dropped

Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency (SDA) and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, said virtually in a Defense One panel that the military's goal to establish a network of low Earth orbit satellites is now more reachable as a result of commercialization. Tournear said launches now cost tens of millions of dollars compared to just a few years ago.