Edging out two industry rivals, General Dynamics [GD] Bath Iron Works has won a key contract for the maintenance and modernization of the Navy’s fleet of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).
Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded the contract on Friday, selecting Bath Iron Works over bids from Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII]. The initial value of the cost- plus award contract is worth $9.7 million, but that number could exceed $100 million if all options are exercised.
The services contract calls on the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine to be the single planning yard for LCS maintenance and modernization, which includes engineering, planning, ship configuration and material and logistic support, according to NAVSEA.
“This planning yard contract is unique in that the contractor will manage the scheduling of all planned, continuous, and emergent maintenance, and associated availabilities,” the contract award said. “This responsibility includes the requirement to integrate simultaneous work completion by multiple private and public organizations.”
The contract applies to the monohull Freedom and trimaran Independence variants of the LCS. Lockheed Martin along with partner Marinette Marine builds the Freedoms, while Austal USA is the builder of the Independence ships.
“We are pleased for the opportunity to apply our planning yard experience in support of the Navy’s LCS program,” Fred Harris, the president of Bath Iron Works, said.
Subcontractors on the Bath Iron Works team are General Dynamics’ Advanced Information Systems business unit, Austal USA, CDI Corporation, and Marinette Marine.
Four LCSs have been delivered to the Navy, two of each variant, and are based in San Diego. The Navy had planned to build 52 LCSs, but Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel earlier this year shrunk the program to 32 vessels.
Hagel questioned the survivability of the ships in future combat environments and instructed the Navy to look at alternatives for meeting the requirement for 52 small surface combatants. Among the options is beefing up the LCS variants to give them greater firepower to meet emerging threats.
The Navy is also considering other ideas that were submitted by industry at the service’s request last spring, including Huntington Ingalls Industries’ suggestion of a frigate based on the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter.