USS Freedom

General Dynamics (GD) Bath Iron Works has received a $100m contract from the US Navy to deliver planning yard services for the littoral combat ship (LCS) programme.

As the LCS Planning Yard, the GD’s business unit will offer maintenance and upgrade support including availability, advanced planning, ship alteration design and logistics for all the US Navy’s LCS 1 and LCS 2 variant vessels.

The latest Planning Yard Services contract covers both variants of the LCS class, Freedom and Independence.

Work under the contract also includes provision of material support, ship planned maintenance, class services, onboard maintenance, and scheduling of all maintenance availabilities in the US and overseas.

Bath Iron Works president Fred Harris said: "We are pleased for the opportunity to apply our planning yard experience in support of the Navy’s LCS programme.

"We have been working hard to make every aspect of our business more affordable, enabling us to successfully compete for contracts like this.

"We are pleased for the opportunity to apply our planning yard experience in support of the Navy’s LCS programme."

"This award is a result of that work and we look forward to working with our industry partners to meet the needs of our US Navy customer."

While Bath Iron Works is the prime contractor, work under the contract will also be performed by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Austal USA, CDI and Marinette Marine.

Primarily aimed at operating in near-shore environments and open-ocean operation, the fast, agile, focused-mission LCS vessels are also targeted at defeating asymmetric ‘anti-access’ threats such as mines, quiet diesel-submarines and fast surface-ships.

The seaframes of LCSs are integrated with reconfigurable payloads called mission modules, which can be modified as per requirements.

Prior to the current contract, Bath Iron Works delivered similar Interim Support Program services for the Independence-class vessels.

The US Navy currently operates a fleet of four littoral combat ships, with construction of an additional twelve ships underway.

Bath Iron Works is planning to build a yard for the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers (DDG 51) and Oliver Hazard Perry-class (FFG 7) guided-missile vessels.

Image: The US Navy’s Freedom-class littoral combat ship, USS Freedom. Photo: courtesy of Le Deluge.

Defence Technology