A team comprising Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) has secured a new contract to construct an additional Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) for the US Navy.
The value of the contract falls under the 2017 congressional cost cap of $584m per vessel.
The new ship will be known as LCS 27 and will represent the 14th Freedom-class LCS ordered by the navy. It is set to be developed at FMM’s naval shipyard.
Lockheed Martin Small Surface Combatants and Ship Systems vice-president Joe DePietro said: “We are excited to continue our partnership with the US navy to build and deliver these capable ships to the fleet.
“With the Freedom-variant now in serial production, our team is increasing efficiency with each ship produced and working to maintain the ship and programme affordability.”
Construction of the Freedom-variant vessels has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies throughout the Midwest since the beginning of the navy’s LCS programme.
The project has also supported thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities across the US, including more than 7,500 in Michigan and Wisconsin alone.
Lockheed Martin and FMM are currently carrying out the full-rate production of the LCSs.
The companies have delivered five ships to the navy to date, while a further seven vessels are currently under various stages of development at FMM, including two LCSs in long-lead production.
The Lockheed Martin and FMM team previously delivered the fifth Freedom-class LCS, the future USS Little Rock, to the US Navy on 25 September.
Image: The future USS Little Rock (LCS 9), the fifth Freedom-variant LCS delivered to the US Navy, underway during acceptance trials. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.