Lockheed receives funding to build future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23)

1 December 2015 (Last Updated December 1st, 2015 18:30)

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team has received funding from the US Navy to complete the construction of the future USS Cooperstown littoral combat ship (LCS 23).

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team has received funding from the US Navy to complete the construction of the future USS Cooperstown littoral combat ship (LCS 23).

Approved by Congress, the funding is the balance of the $279m financing required to maintain the cost and schedule of this LCS.

Congress provided $79m in advanced procurement funding for LCS 23 in March this year.

"We have delivered three of these ships to the fleet so far, and we stand committed on the remaining block buy deliveries."

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training Littoral Ships and Systems vice-president Joe North said: "By providing this funding, the navy demonstrates its commitment to the Lockheed Martin-led team in building the advanced Freedom-variant littoral combat ship.

"We have delivered three of these ships to the fleet so far, and we stand committed on the remaining block buy deliveries."

The US Navy's LCS programme aims to fill gaps in the critical, urgent operational war-fighting requirements that currently exist in the navy to defeat littoral threats, and provide access and dominance in coastal waters.

The LCS-class consists of the Freedom and Independence variants, which are developed by two industry teams led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, respectively. Austal USA, along with Bath Iron Works, is part of the team led by GD.

The Lockheed-led industry team, which includes shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine and naval architect Gibbs & Cox, has already delivered three Freedom-variant LCSs.

The first ship of the variant, the USS Freedom, has conducted a deployment to Southeast Asia in 2013 and is currently operating out of its San Diego homeport.

The USS Fort Worth is currently serving in the US 7th Fleet and deployed in Southeast Asia.

The US Navy has recently commissioned the Freedom-variant USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) in the city of Milwaukee.