Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems won a $98.7 million contract
for sustainment of the Littoral Combat Ship Component
Based Total Ship System – 21st Century -(LCS COMBATSS-21); and associated combat system elements. The work includes development, integration, test and delivery of future combat system baseline upgrades for in-service ships, supporting ship integration, installation and checkout, developmental test/operational test, developing training and logistics products, providing field technical support for combat systems, providing hardware engineering, equipment procurement and providing life-cycle supportability engineering and fleet support for fielded baselines. The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1). It is a steel monohull design constructed by Lockheed Martin in the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corporation's shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. Work will take place in Virginia and Florida as well as various other locations.
Exploit simplicity, numbers, the pace of technology development in electronics and robotics, and fast reconfiguration. That was the US Navy’s idea for the low-end backbone of its future surface combatant fleet. Inspired by successful experiments like Denmark’s Standard Flex ships, the US Navy’s $35+ billion “Littoral Combat Ship” program was intended to create a new generation of affordable surface combatants that could operate in dangerous shallow and near-shore environments, while remaining affordable and capable throughout their lifetimes.
It hasn’t worked that way. In practice, the Navy hasn’t been able to reconcile what they wanted with the capabilities needed to perform primary naval missions, or with what could be delivered for the sums available. The LCS program has changed its fundamental acquisition plan 4 times since 2005, and canceled contracts with both competing teams during this period, without escaping any of its fundamental issues. Now, the program looks set to end early. This public-access FOCUS article offer a wealth of research material, alongside looks at the LCS program’s designs, industry teams procurement plans, military controversies, budgets and contracts.