Lockheed Martin has received a $22.7 million contract modification under a wider, $6 billion contract for the construction of four up-gunned littoral combat ships for the Saudi Arabian navy.
The contract modification was administered through the US Naval Sea Systems Command under the foreign military sales program with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia providing funds.
Work under this phase of the contract will be taking place in the US and is expected to be completed by July 2018.
Back in May 2017, Saudi Arabia and Lockheed Martin reached an agreement for the construction of four improved versions of the Freedom-variant LCS Lockheed Martin’s industry team is building for the US Navy.
The export variant of the is referred to as the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) by Lockheed Martin.
There are few details about the specific configuration of the ships but according to a US State Department sale approval from 2015, the ships could be fielding the COMBATSS-21 combat management systems with five TRS-4D radars.
Other systems and armaments requested for purchase by Saudi Arabia included eight MK-41 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) (two eight-cell assemblies per ship for 16 cells per hull) and 532 tactical RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM).
Saudi Arabia also requested a possible sale of Harpoon launchers, MK-15 Mod 31 SeaRAM CIWS and MK-75 76mm OTO Melara Gun Systems.