Lockheed to build advanced Navy ship

Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $188.2 million development contract from the Navy to design and build the first Flight 0 Littoral Combat Ship, a vessel that will use advanced information systems to improve its warfighting capability.

Lockheed's Maritime Systems and Sensors unit, based in Moorestown, N.J., will begin construction of the heavily networked ship at Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis., early next year and deliver it to the Navy in late 2006. The vendor beat out General Dynamics Corp. for the deal.

LCS, a smaller, faster and more agile version of the Navy's planned DD(X) warships, will offer high-speed transit, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and will share tactical information with manned and unmanned Navy aircraft, ships, submarines and units. It will also use advanced systems for weapons, sensors, data fusion, command, control, communications, computing and self-defense.

The ship's first missions will be mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.

"Today we take the next step toward delivering this needed capability to the fleet," said John J. Young Jr., assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. "Just two years after we awarded the first contracts, we're signing a contract to build the first LCS. This was made possible by great support from Congress and industry, which both teamed with the Navy so we can provide the fleet with greater capability and flexibility to meet mission requirements."

Lockheed's subcontractors include Gibbs & Cox of Arlington, Va.; Marinette Marine of Marinette, Wis.; and Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, La.

The Navy plans to build four Flight 0 ships.

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