12/23/2019- The US Navy announced Friday that Lockheed Martin has been awarded an almost- $2-billion contract to build four multi-mission surface combatants for Saudi Arabia, according to Defense News. Those ships will be built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine and are derived from the Freedom-class littoral combat ship design built there. The contract was awarded as part of the Navy’s Foreign Military Sales program. It follows a 2018 $450-million contract for design and long-lead time materials for the frigates. Deliveries of the MMSC are expected to begin in June of 2023. Selling the MMSC to the Saudis will be a net positive for the Navy and should have minimal impact on Marinette Marine’s LCS production.