The US Navy has awarded modifications to previously awarded contracts for the development of new littoral combat ships (LCSs).
The two contract modifications have been awarded for one fiscal year (FY) 2018 vessel to Lockheed Martin and two FY 2018 ships to Austal USA.
LCS programme manager (PMS 501) US Navy captain Mike Taylor said: “These contract awards represent an important next step in delivering critical warfighting capability to the fleet.”
The three ships that will be constructed under the latest contract extension are the future LCS-29, LCS-32 and LCS-34.
Under the deal, LCS-29 will be constructed at Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) ship building facility in Marinette, Wisconsin, while LCS-32 and LCS-34 will be developed by Austal USA at its manufacturing site in Mobile, Alabama.
To date, the US Navy has accepted delivery of 16 littoral combat vessels. With the current contract modifications, a total of 32 LCSs have been acquired by the service to date.
Currently, ten vessels are under construction, including LCS 15, LCS 17 and LCSs 19 to 26, while six additional ships, LCSs 27 to 30, LCS 32 and LCS 34, are under contract.
The combined capability of the LCSs and their mission systems has been designed to effectively operate in the littoral battle space and provide the US forces with assured access to coastal areas.