Lockheed Martin Driving Down LCS Costs

Navy awards Lockheed Martin two more Littoral Combat Ships as program makes progress

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LCS 3, shown above, is scheduled to undergo acceptance trials this spring. The Lockheed Martin team will build two more ships (LCS 9 and 11) after receiving a recent contract modification from the Navy.

With two more Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) under construction and serial production underway, the Lockheed Martin-led team is driving down costs as it realizes more and more efficiencies, bringing greater savings for the U.S. Navy.

The Navy issued the team a $715 million contract modification on March 16 to build two more of the LCS Freedom variants – the Little Rock (LCS 9) and the Sioux City (LCS 11). The $357.5 million average cost per ship is well below the $480 million congressional cost cap.

The team’s second LCS, Fort Worth (LCS 3), is 99 percent complete at Marinette Marine’s Wisconsin shipyard, and is awaiting Navy acceptance trials this spring. Improvements made from lessons learned on the first LCS to Fort Worth (LCS 3) include added buoyancy, 10 percent more fuel capacity and extra length which helps increase ship speed and efficiency.

“Lockheed Martin is incorporating lessons learned from the lead ship to follow-on ships, enabling us to be more efficient and drive down costs on the future ships,” said Joe North, vice president of littoral ship systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “The Lockheed Martin-led team is making significant progress, balancing affordability with the unique capabilities that LCS will provide to the Navy.”

With this contract modification, the Little Rock’s and Sioux City’s construction are part of the Navy’s revised 2010 acquisition strategy, which calls for 10 ships to be awarded to the Lockheed Martin-led team between 2010 and 2015. The USS Freedom (LCS 1), which is currently being prepared for her next deployment, and the Fort Worth, which will undergo Acceptance Trials this spring, were both awarded under previous contracts. The Milwaukee (LCS 5) and the Detroit (LCS 7) are currently under construction.

Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox of Arlington, Va., and other domestic and international suppliers round out the Lockheed Martin team, which includes ArcelorMittal, BAE Systems, DRS Technologies, Fairbanks Morse Engine, Gibbs & Cox, Oldenburg, Rolls Royce and Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine among others.  

Posted March 16, 2012


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