ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Lockheed Martin [LMT] designed the future Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Nantucket (LCS-27) as the first LCS to receive the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and it is also working to equip in-service ships with the weapon.
Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of Small Combatants and Ship Systems, told reporters last Thursday about its preparations to host the NSM ahead of the commissioning of the future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) here on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the Freedom-variant LCS, which is built by cantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisc.
DePietro noted the Navy has budgeted about $1 billion in the Future Years Defense Program for modernization, which includes incorporating the NSM into the LCS as an over-the-horizon (OTH) missile capability.
LCS-27 is the first LCS Lockheed Martin designed in the space and weight requirements to accommodate the NSM.
DePietro said the company was recently asked to look at a backfit design to be able to incorporate NSMs into currently in-service Freedom-variant LCSs.
While the company is working on the backfit design, he said “it’s up to Navy on what ship they’re going to target for delivery in the post-delivery world.”
DePietro underscored that while Lockheed Martin has not yet received any modifications associated with installing the NSM on to LCS-27, “it will be ready to receive it.”
In May the Navy awarded Raytheon [RTN] a $15 million contract for the OTH missile program to be used by the LCSs and future guided-missile frigate (FFG(X)) (Defense Daily, May 31).
The NSM was originally developed by Norway’s Kongsberg, which is working with Raytheon to integrate the capability into LCSs. The NSM will give the ships a long-range anti-ship capability.
According to FY ’18 Navy budget documents, the service intends to procure up to 64 OTH missiles through FY ’23. The Navy expects them to cost about $2.2 million each (Defense Daily, Feb. 15).