An advanced U.S. Navy combat ship that is slated to be commissioned as the U.S.S. Billings collided with a berthed freighter in Montreal on Monday, FreightWaves reported. Both ships were damaged as a result, but their crews were safe. The U.S. Freedom-class littoral combat ship hit the M/V Rosaire A. Desgagnes at about 2PM on Monday, according to Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, a Navy spokesperson.
The Billings is 378 feet long and sustained damage below the waterline as a result. The damage to the 452 foot dry bulk vessel it collided with has not been fully assessed yet. The bulk vessel is owned by Quebec-based Transport Desgagnés.
The U.S. Navy is reportedly still investigating the incident and despite the fact that the Billings was "capable" of making it to its Florida homebase, it is being kept in Montreal for additional damage assessments.
Hillson said: “The Navy is conducting an investigation to understand what happened and why. We will incorporate lessons learned to ensure we conduct safe and effective operations.”
The Billings launched in 2017 and is one of the newest ships in the Navy's fleet. It cost $362 million and is billed as a "high-tech, cost-effective surface warfare vessel suited for modern defense needs". Freedom class combat boats like the Billings have "been plagued by a host of issues, which have kept them from going operational."
The Rosarie was delivered in 2007 and built by Volharding Shipyards in the Netherlands, in collaboration with Jiangzhou Shipyard in China. It has a capacity of about 16,000 cubic meters.