Lockheed-Led Team Concludes Acceptance Trials of Eighth Freedom-Variant LCS

A Lockheed Martin-led industry group has wrapped up a series of acceptance trials of the U.S. Navy‘s eighth Freedom-variant littoral combat ship in Lake Michigan.

USS Billings (LCS-15) underwent maneuverability tests and demonstrations of the ship’s combat systems against surface and aerial threats as well as aviation support and small boat launch-and-recovery capabilities, Lockheed said Monday.

“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 of small combatants and ship systems at Lockheed.

Lockheed said USS Billings is scheduled for delivery to the service branch in 2019.

Seven Freedom-class vessels are now in production and testing phases at Fincantieri Marinette Marine‘s facility and one of those ships, USS Indianapolis (LCS-17), is scheduled for sea trials in 2019.

USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is slated for launch and christening on Dec. 15, while USS Wichita (LCS-13) is set for commissioning in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 12.

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