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USS Billings, US Navy new warship, struck commercial ship in Canada.

| 2019

Earlier this week, USS Billings, a new littoral combat ship (LCS) of the U.S. Navy, collided with a commercial vessel while leaving the port of Montreal, Canada, on its way to its permanent home port. USS Billings sustained some minor damage. Yet, no injuries were reported on either ship.

USS Billings US Navy new warship struck commercial ship in Canada Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Billings of the U.S. Navy (Picture Source: Lockheed Martin)

According to Maritime Executive, the warship struck the geared bulker Rosaire Desgagnes while leaving her to slip alongside the moored commercial ship. Billings apparently lost control after two tugboats assisting her cast off their tow lines, leaving the littoral combat ship under her own power. Billings will remain in Montreal until a full assessment of the incident and damage is completed.

USS Billings, named after Billings, Montana, is one of the newest ships in the fleet. The ship was laid down at Marinette Marine, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Michigan, and was delivered to the U.S. Navy on February 1, 2019. Like many Freedom-class littoral combat ships, Billings visited several cities and towns in the Great Lakes region before departing for the Atlantic via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The littoral combat ship (LCS) family of ships are small, frigate-sized warships meant to operate in coastal waters, using interchangeable mission modules to reconfigure the ship to take on different missions. USS Billings displaces 3,450 tons, is 387.6 feet long with a beam of 57.7 feet. LCS ships are high-speed vessels capable of operating at speeds in excess of 40 knots (46 miles an hour on land).

Armament consists 1 Mk 110 57 millimetre gun, RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), 2 Mk 44 30 millimetre Bushmaster II guns, and 4 .50 calibre machine guns. The ships can also be augmented with Naval Strike Missiles, an anti-submarine warfare mission module, or a mine warfare module. The ships also typically embark an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.

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