US Navy awards Austal, Lockheed LCS contracts

The U.S. Navy has awarded Austal and Lockheed Martin $564 million contracts each for the construction of further littoral combat ships (LCS).

Under the contract, Lockheed will be building ship number 25 while Austal is to deliver LCS 26 as the prime contractor.

Lockheed Martin builds the Freedom-variant of littoral combat ships and Austal builds the Independence-variant.

LCS 26 will be the eleventh Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships built by Austal as prime contractor, with the U.S. Navy exercising an option in addition to Austal’s existing 10-vessel block- buy contract.

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said: “It is pleasing to see the Navy’s ongoing confidence in Austal’s ability to produce these high quality vessels.

“We are working hard to increase production efficiencies and reduce costs as the program matures and look forward to constructing the newly funded ship, which secures work at our US shipyard through to CY2021.”

Both Lockheed and Austal have delivered three LCS so far.