Fincantieri to build new surface combatant for Saudi Arabia

The following is text of a news release from Lockheed Martin:

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. government has awarded Lockheed Martin an undefinitized contract action (UCA) for the production of the multi-mission surface combatant (MMSC) for Saudi Arabia.

Lockheed Martin is being awarded a contract totaling $450 million to begin the detailed design and planning for construction of four MMSCs that will be built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wis.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will acquire four MMSCs as part of a larger agreement between the United States and KSA to enhance global security and stimulate economic progress in the two regions.

"We are pleased the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has selected the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant to support its Royal Saudi Naval Forces fleet," said Joe DePietro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "The MMSC provides the Royal Saudi Naval Forces a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant, which features the flexibility of the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship steel monohull with expanded capabilities that include an integrated Mk41 vertical launch system, an increased range of 5,000 nautical miles and speeds in excess of 30 knots, making it capable of littoral and open ocean operation, and able to confront modern maritime and economic security threats."

MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Common Source Library, enabling anti-air and anti-surface capabilities in a small surface combatant platform.

In March, Lockheed Martin was awarded $481 million for long-lead material for MMSC. The contract award of the MMSC is a significant milestone in the relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"Lockheed Martin values our 50-year partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is committed to helping fulfill the Kingdom's long-term vision," said Richard (Rick) Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin International. "Through investment in IT infrastructure, training, tooling, equipment and enhanced collaboration with KSA industry, together we will increase the capacity of the kingdom's economy while creating sustainable jobs for a brighter future."

Over the past 10 years, the littoral combat ship (LCS) Freedom-variant industry team has invested more than $120 million to modernize the Marinette shipyard, hire more than 1,000 people and train a new work force. 

The Lockheed Martin-led team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. The LCS is the Navy's most affordable surface combatant shipbuilding program.

By Professional Mariner Staff