Lockheed Martin has presented the Navy with options for its Freedom class Littoral Combat Ship which include more powerful radar and stronger anti-air missile capabilities. Lockheed provided the variants as part of a request for information from the Navy.
The Navy's Littoral Combat Ship program has awarded Lockheed Martin a $376.6 million contract modification to build the LCS 7, to be based on the steel hull design of the LCS 1. The program has also awarded a $368.6 million contract for LCS 8 to Austal USA. The orders come less than three months after the previous award of two ships in December.
Soaring steel and oil prices have helped push up the cost of a warship Lockheed Martin is building for the Navy. The cost of Lockheed's Littoral combat ship is now $550 million per ship, up from the $220 million initial estimate. Design changes have also pushed the cost of the ship higher. General Dynamics is also building a Littoral combat ship.
The Navy has canceled one of two contracts for General Dynamics to develop prototype ships in competition for the larger Littoral Combat Ship contract. The winner of the Littoral Combat Ship contractor could potentially land contracts worth tens of billions of dollars. Lockheed Martin is also producing a ship to compete for the contract.