12/26/2018- It’s been a busy year for Lockheed Martin, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, and the littoral combat ship program. The shipyard launched their second LCS for 2018 on December 15th and has six others in various stages of production and test. Joe Depietro is the Vice President of Small Combatants and Ship Systems for Lockheed Martin. He says this month’s launch marked the tenth freedom-variant LCS to hit the water.
Additional littoral combat ships through LCS 29 have already been awarded to Lockheed Martin. DePietro says between those and the new contract to design and build four multi-mission surface combatants for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he doesn’t expect the operational tempo at F-M-M to slow down any time soon.
The 2019 Defense Spending Bill includes funding for three more littoral combat ships. The construction of those ships will be split between Fincantieri Marinette Marine and Austal USA in Alabama.