The U.S. Navy assigned a $376-million, fixed-price contract to a consortium led by Lockheed Martin to build the seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The award follows a contract placed by the Navy with the contractor group last December that outlined a five-year program to build 10 such ships, which are designed for “multi-mission support,” including combat, near to shore.
A similar, five-year, 10-ship contract was placed in December with a consortium led by Austal USA.
The Lockheed Martin team designed and built the first LCS, USS Freedom, which was commissioned in 2008. The team’s second LCS was christened and launched in December.
LCS 3, the USS Fort Worth, and was christened and launched in December 2010, and will be delivered to the Navy next year.
The latest contract to the Lockheed team provides funding for the second of the 10 ships specified in the December contract. Funding for the remaining eight ships will be awarded through the life of the contract through 2015.
Marinette Marine Corp. will build the ships in Marinette, Wis., and naval architect Gibbs & Cox will perform engineering and design support. In December, Lockheed indicated the value of the first ship in the 10-ship LCS program at $437 million.
"As the Lockheed Martin team constructs this next ship, we will remain focused on performance and cost," stated Joe North, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Littoral Ship Systems business. "The Navy's 10-ship award provides stability to this program, allowing industry to more efficiently meet the customer's need for an affordable, multi-mission surface combatant."