Lockheed Martin is being awarded with a contract modification
to continue work on Saudi Arabia's new warships. The undefinitized contract action modification provides for long-lead-time material and detail design in support of the construction of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships (MMSC). The order is valued at $282 million and includes Foreign Military Sales funding in the amount of $124 million. The MMSC
is a derivative of the US Navy’s Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship. Its mission capabilities include anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, mine warfare, electronic warfare, and special operations. Saudi Arabia's new ships
will be fitted with Mk-41 VLSs, Lockheed's COMBATSS-21 Combat Management Systems, CIWS, a Mk-75 76mm OTO Melara Gun and several missile systems. Work will be performed at Lockheed's locations in Marinette, Wisconsin; Baltimore, Maryland; Herndon, Virginia; Moorestown, New Jersey; Manassas, Virginia and San Diego, California. Performance of the contract is expected to be completed by October 2025.
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.