Anchors away! Watching the Navy launch combat ships never gets old (VIDEO)

The United States Navy launched the nation’s newest Freedom-class littoral combat ship in Marinette, Wisconsin, Saturday, and, let’s face it, watching a massive military ship being dropped into the water just never gets old.

The ship was launched into the Menominee River at Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard and will be named the USS Billings, after Montana’s largest city. It is expected to join the Navy fleet sometime next year after the completion of additional testing and outfitting.

“The Freedom-variant LCS plays a critical role in the US Navy’s fleet, and we are committed to getting Billings and her highly capable sister ships into combatant commanders’ hands as quickly as possible,” said Lockheed Martin Littoral Ships and Systems vice-president Joe North.

Sharla Tester, the ship’s sponsor, said, “As a lifelong Montanan, there is no greater honour than to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Billings and to help bring this magnificent warship one step closer to joining the fleet.”

Check out the 360 video of the launch for a more interactive experience.

[ U.S. Navy ]