Photo Credit: Austal
The Navy has awarded General Dynamics Corp.
and Lockheed Martin Corp. the final design contracts that could lead to orders for the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Work’s contract is worth $79M, and Lockheed’s is valued at $47M.
The LCS is an entirely new breed of U.S. Navy warship. A fast, agile,
and networked surface combatant, LCS’s modular, focused-mission design will provide
Combatant Commanders the required warfighting capabilities and operational
flexibility to ensure maritime dominance and access for the joint force. LCS will
operate with focused-mission packages that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles to execute missions as assigned by Combatant Commanders.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. and its subsidiary, Marinette Marine Corporation, are part of the Lockheed Martin team that has been awarded a contract to complete the final design of the new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) for the U.S. Navy. The contract, which includes options to build two ships, represents a potential total value of $423 million for the team. Manitowoc will build the lead ship and construction of the initial LCS will begin in early 2005, with the ship’s launch scheduled for 2006.
Austal is the vessel designer and builder for the General Dynamics team which is one of two consortiums selected for the final design phase. The contracts include options to complete detail design and construction of a lead ship of this new high-speed surface ship class and it is anticipated that both teams will have contract options exercised to build two vessels each. Construction of a 127 metre long fast ferry based on the same trimaran hullform as proposed for the LCS is already well underway at Austal’s shipbuilding facilities near Perth, Western Australia. The commercial and military activities involving the trimaran are complementary - completion of the ferry later this year will provide full scale validation of the LCS proposal
and the US Navy project adds further impetus to the already strong interest being shown in trimarans by ferry operators.