New U.S. combat ship, the USS Billings, passes through Seaway

The USS Billings is shown passing through the Iroquois Lock, June 17. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

SOUTH DUNDAS — USS Billings LCS 15, one of the newest ‘littoral combat’ ships in the American arsenal, passed through South Dundas and the Seaway yesterday evening.

Part of an ongoing LCS production run — and designed and built by famed U.S. military contractor Lockheed Martin — the eastward-bound ship locked through Iroquois shortly before 7 p.m.

Constructed at the Marinette shipyard in Wisconsin, LCS 15 was launched in July 2017 but has yet to be officially commissioned, according to Lockheed’s website. It wasn’t immediately clear who was crewing the as-yet noncommissioned vessel — whether U.S. Navy sailors or employees of the ship builder. NVN has reached out to the contractor for details.

Online estimates place the ship’s cost as high as almost $2-billion U.S.

Littoral means close to shore. ‘Corvette’ has been used to describe navy craft designed for littoral operations in the past.

Below, a video showing the USS Billings’ 2017 christening and launch in Wisconsin.
Below, reader Liz Goulet supplied this footage of the USS Billings making its way east from Iroquois on the St. Lawrence Seaway.
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