Lockheed Martin awarded a contract to build four MMSC ships for Saudi Arabia

American Company Lockheed Martin was awarded a US$1.96 billion detailed design and construction to build four Multi Mission Surface Combatant ships (MMSC) for the Kingdom Saudi Arabia, according to a Friday contract released on Friday, December 20, 2019.

Lockheed Martin awarded a contract to build four MMSC ships for Saudi Arabia 925 001 Scale model of the Royal Saudi Navy MMSC project on Lockheed Martin stand at SNA 2018. (Picture source Navy Recognition)

In October 2015, the U.S. State Department had announced a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) Ships and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $11.25 billion. The Government of Saudi Arabia has requested a naval modernization program to include the sale of Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) ships and program office support.

The MMSC (Multi Mission Surface Combatant) ship is based on the freedom variant of the Navy Littoral Combat Ship class, and is being procured by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) under the auspices of the Navy's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The detail design and construction of four Multi Mission Surface Combatant ships is part of the Foreign Military Sales agreement between the U.S. and the KSA.

The ships are part of the overarching Saudi Naval Expansion Program II, a plan in the works for more than a decade to upgrade the kingdom’s Eastern Fleet. Ultimately, USNI News understands Saudi Arabia plans to spend up to $20 billion on new ships, with approximately $6 billion earmarked for the frigate program built by Lockheed Martin.

Work will be performed in Marinette, Wisconsin (50%); Washington, District of Columbia (17%); Baltimore, Maryland (9%); Moorestown, New Jersey (7%); Clearwater, Florida (2%); Beloit, Wisconsin (1%); Salt Lake City, Utah (1%); Pascagoula, Mississippi (1%); Fitchburg, Massachusetts (1%); Hampton, Virginia (1%); areas outside the U.S. (8%); and other areas in the U.S. (2%), and is expected to be completed by June 2026. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) is a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant capable of littoral and open-ocean operation. It was designed from the keel up to confront modern maritime and economic security threats.

With proven combat management system lineage, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC has the interoperability necessary for today’s joint and allied naval force maneuvers. Paired with world’s most advanced maritime helicopter, the MH-60R SEAHAWK®, the MMSC will have a robust anti-submarine mission capability that is fully interoperable with the U.S. Navy and its coalition partners.

The MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Software library. The MMSC integrated combat system solution leverages the domestic LCS integration of the 57mm Mk110 deck gun and SeaRAM, and expands multi-mission capability through integration of Over-The-Horizon surface-to-surface missiles, port and starboard 20 mm remote guns, a new fire control radar and a forward centerline 8 cell MK 41 Vertical Launch System equipped with RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles. The MMSC is also equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Torpedo Defense system.

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