The United States (US) Navy will commission its latest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future “USS Billings” (LCS 15) on Saturday, August 3, in Key West, Florida.
The ship is designed to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. It will be homeported in Mayport, Florida, the US Department of Defense announced on Wednesday.
The LCS is a set of two classes of relatively small surface vessels designed for operations near shore. The Freedom-class and the Independence-class are the first two LCS variants. The automated combat ship is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and is equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
The Freedom-variant LCS is designed to integrate modular weapons, as well as manned and unmanned vehicles to deliver critical warfighting capability to the fleet in mine counter measures, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.