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Navy accepts USS Billings, announces next two LCS names

The next two littoral combat ships are expected to be named USS Kingsville and USS Pierre, according to the Navy.

By
Allen Cone
The U.S. Navy's future USS Billings launches sideways into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wis., after its christening on July 1, 2017. The Navy took delivery of the ship Friday during a ceremony. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin/U.S. Navy
The U.S. Navy's future USS Billings launches sideways into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wis., after its christening on July 1, 2017. The Navy took delivery of the ship Friday during a ceremony. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin/U.S. Navy

Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Billings, while also announcing the names of the next two Independence-variant littoral combat ships -- USS Kingsville and USS Pierre.

The delivery of the USS Billings, named for the city in Montana, was accepted at a ceremony Friday at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wis.

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The Navy announced on Monday that LCS 36 will be named after the city Kingsville, in Texas, the first ship to bear the name, and on Tuesday that LCS 38 will be named for the capital city of South Dakota, Pierre. The USS Pierre will be the second ship to bear the name.

The USS Billings is the 17th littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy and eighth of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. The vessel is expected to be commissioned in November.

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"Today marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Billings," LCS program manager Capt. Mike Taylor said in a news release. "I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this fine ship alongside the crew later this year where she will play an essential role in the new fleet of warships that will carry out our nation's future maritime strategy."

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Five Freedom-variant destroyers are being constructed in the Wisconsin shipyard.

Both the Kingsville and the Pierre, Independence-variant vessels, will be built by Austal USA at its facility in Mobile, Ala.

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Last week, the Navy announced LCS 34 will be named USS Augusta, after the city in Maine, with construction at the Alabama shipyard scheduled for 2020.

Five Independence-variant ships are currently under construction in Alabama.

While five littoral combat ships were delivered to the Navy in 2018, three are expected for delivery this year.

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