U.S. Navy Elects to Construct Another Freedom-Variant LCS
The new littoral combat ship will be another lethal, fast, manuerable, flexible tool for the nation’s defense.
On January 15, the U.S. Navy awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. of Baltimore, exercising an option to build an additional littoral combat ship (LCS).
Lockheed Martin will build the ship, known as LCS-31, at teammate Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s (FMM’s) naval shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will oversee the design and construction, as well as the testing and trials of the ship for the Navy.
The award is a fixed-price-incentive firm target modification to a previously awarded contract. DOD did not disclose the dollar amount of the award, as it was considered source-selection sensitive information.
The company reported that LCS-31 would be the 16th Freedom-variant LCS ordered by the Navy. Construction is underway for seven of the Freedom-class ships. The Lockheed Martin team is building the Freedom-variant LCS ships, which are odd-numbered, while the Austal USA team in Mobile, Alabama, is building the Independence variant—the even numbered hulls—which is a different, aluminum trimaran version of the LCS. Also, Lockheed Martin is preparing to lay the keel for LCS-25, the USS Marinette, a company spokeswoman said.
In addition to FMM’s shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, where 40 percent of the effort will be completed, work under the Lockheed Martin contract will be performed in: Washington, D.C. (7 percent); Baltimore (6 percent); Beloit, Wisconsin (2 percent); Iron Mountain, Michigan (2 percent); Milwaukee (1 percent); Waunakee, Wisconsin (1 percent); Crozet, Virginia (1 percent); Coleman, Wisconsin (1 percent); Monrovia, California (1 percent); and various other locations below 1 percent (38 percent).
DOD expects the work to be completed by February 2026.
The Lockheed Martin team will leverage capital investments, shipyard improvements and efficiencies created by the repeat LCS production to maintain high quality at an affordable cost, according to the company spokeswoman.
Fiscal year 2019 Naval shipbuilding and conversion funds were obligated at the time of the award; the funds do not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
"We are excited to continue our partnership with the U.S. Navy and FMM to build and deliver capable ships to the fleet,” said Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "With the Freedom-variant in serial production, we continue to enhance efficiency and incorporate capability while maintaining ship and program affordability."
On January 12, the Navy commissioned LCS-13, the USS Wichita, the seventh Freedom-variant LCS, at Naval Station Mayport in Florida, its homeport. The ship will be used for mine countermeasure activities, deploying from the East Coast. In November, the Navy Commissioned LCS-11, the USS Sioux City.