LCS Becomes Billings’ Newest Claim to Fame
Navy Secretary names future LCS 15 after Montana’s largest city
From its early days as a railroad town, Billings grew like magic into the region’s distribution hub and Montana’s largest city. Now, the “Magic City” has another claim to fame. U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus recently announced that the nation’s 15th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) will be the first Navy ship named in honor of Billings.
"It is my privilege to name these ships after five great American cities," Mabus said in an official release announcing the names of two LCSs and three Joint High Speed Vessels. “Several cities will be represented for the first time in the Navy fleet, establishing a new connection and tradition that forms a bond between a city's residents and the sailors and Marines who serve in its namesake ship.”
A Lockheed Martin-led team will build the Billings, a Freedom-variant LCS, at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin. Construction will begin this fall and is expected to be finished by 2017.
Last month, Lockheed Martin and the Navy celebrated the keel laying of the future USS Little Rock (LCS 9) at Marinette Marine, where the ship is under construction.
The Lockheed Martin-led team built the Navy’s first LCS, the USS Freedom, which is currently in Singapore as part of its 10-month deployment to Southeast Asia. USS Fort Worth – commissioned in September – is conducting post-shakedown availability.
Construction of Milwaukee (LCS 5), Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) is underway, and long-lead construction material is being procured for Wichita (LCS 13) and Billings (LCS 15).
Posted July 16, 2013