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US Navy awards LCS contract to Austal and Lockheed

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The US Navy has awarded construction contracts to both Lockheed Martin and Austal USA for future Littoral Combat Ships.

WASHINGTON (BNS): The US Navy has awarded Austal USA and Lockheed Martin Corporation each a fixed-price incentive contract for the design and construction of a 10 ship block-buy, for a total of 20 littoral combat ships (LCS) from fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2015.

"The awards represent a unique and valuable opportunity to lock in the benefits of competition and provide needed ships to our fleet in a timely and extraordinarily cost-effective manner," US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement.

The amount awarded to Austal USA is $432 million and the amount awarded to Lockheed Martin is $437 million. The contract includes options for nine additional vessels in the following five years.

The new contracts give each shipbuilding team one ship to build now, with another in 2011. Two more per year for each team will follow in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Lockheed will build a single-hull LCS, while Austal will provide a trimaran -- three hulls side by side. Both versions will weigh around 3,000 tonnes, have a top speed of 40 knots (74 kilometers per hour) and carry a helicopter, the statement said.

When all 10 ships of each block purchase are awarded, the value of the ship construction portion of the two contracts would be 3.6 billion dollars for Lockheed Martin and 3.5 billion for Austal USA.

"The LCS is uniquely designed to win against 21st century threats in coastal waters posed by increasingly capable submarines, mines and swarming small craft," Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, was quoted as saying in the statement.

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Navy  Lockheed  Austal  Ship  
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