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Lockheed Martin Gets Contract to Begin Production of MMSC for Saudi Arabia.

| 2018

The U.S. government awarded Lockheed Martin an Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA) award for the production of the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Lockheed Martin is being awarded a contract totaling $450 million to begin the detailed design and planning for construction of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants (MMSC) that will be built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Saudi Navy MMSC LCS Lockheed Martin SNA 2018 news 1 The Royal Saudi Navy MMSC on Lockheed Martin stand at SNA 2018

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will acquire four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants as part of a larger agreement between the United States and KSA to enhance global security and stimulate economic progress in the two regions.

"We are pleased the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has selected the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant to support its Royal Saudi Naval Forces fleet," said Joe DePietro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "The MMSC provides the Royal Saudi Naval Forces a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant, which features the flexibility of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship steel mono-hull with expanded capabilities that include an integrated Mk41 Vertical Launch System, an increased range of 5,000 nautical miles and speeds in excess of 30 knots, making it capable of littoral and open ocean operation, and able to confront modern maritime and economic security threats."

MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Common Source Library, enabling anti-air and anti-surface capabilities in a small surface combatant platform. With proven combat management system lineage, Lockheed Martin's MMSC has the interoperability necessary for today's joint and allied naval force maneuvers.

In March, Lockheed Martin was awarded $481 million for long lead material for MMSC. The contract award of the MMSC is a significant milestone in the relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

"Lockheed Martin values our 50-year partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is committed to helping fulfill the Kingdom's long-term vision," said Richard H. (Rick) Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin International. "Through investment in IT infrastructure, training, tooling, equipment and enhanced collaboration with KSA industry, together we will increase the capacity of the Kingdom's economy while creating sustainable jobs for a brighter future."

Over the past 10 years, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Freedom-variant industry team has invested more than $120 million to modernize the Marinette shipyard, hire more than 1,000 people and train a new workforce.

"This prestigious award proves the farsightedness of our decision to enter the U.S. market," said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. "Since then, over the past 10 years we have become a reference builder not only for the U.S. Navy, but also for several foreign navies, while contributing to the development of the industrial base and of the economic fabric in the Midwest."

The Lockheed Martin-led team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. The LCS is the Navy's most affordable surface combatant shipbuilding program.

"Fincantieri Marinette Marine has been in this community for more than 75 years and has produced over 1,500 vessels," said Jan Allman, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. "We are proud to have one of the most technologically advanced shipyards, employing nearly 2,000 of the best shipbuilders, technicians and engineers. On behalf of Fincantieri Marinette Marine and our suppliers in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest who will support this program, we are pleased to partner with Lockheed Martin to construct the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Saudi Navy MMSC LCS Lockheed Martin SNA 2018 news 2From left to right: Decoy launchers, 2x Nexter Narwhal 20mm RWS, 8x Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Saab CEROS 200 FCR, Raytheon SeaRAM and 12.7mm weapon station (manned).

About MMSC:
On May 22nd 2017, the KSA expressed its intent to procure more than $28 billion worth of Lockheed Martin integrated air and missile defense, combat ship, tactical aircraft and rotary wing technologies and programs. The agreement includes four MMSC based on the Freedom-class LCS Lockheed Martin’s industry team is building for the U.S. Navy. The four vessels are part of a modernization program for the Royal Saudi Navy's eastern fleet called SNEP II (Saudi Naval Expansion Program).

Back in October 2015, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced via press release that the U.S. State Department gave its green light for a proposed sale to Saudi Arabia of four MMSC Ships.

The model on display at SNA 2018 was a new one reflecting the latest and final configuration selected by the Saudi Navy:
- A BAE Systems Bofors 57mm main gun (while an earlier design was fitted with an Oto Melara 76mm main gun),
- 8x MK41 VLS cells placed forward ahead of the bridge (2x8 cells used to be placed on each side of the helicopter hangar in the earlier design)
- 8x Harpoon anti-ship missiles (in two launchers),
- A Raytheon SeaRAM launcher on top of the helicopter hangar,
- 2x Nexter Narwhal 20mm remote weapon stations (these were Mk38 turrets in a previous scale model unveiled at SNA 2016 however the DSCA release mentionned Nexter's Narwhal 20mm RWS as early as 2015).

Two triple torpedo launchers present on the 2016 scale model appear to have been removed on the final MMSC design.

Our video on the MMSC for the Royal Saudi Navy during SNA 2018

In terms of sensor systems, two CEROS 200 radar and optronic tracking fire control director by Saab are fitted: One forward (on top of the deck house) and the other one back aft, between the harpoon launchers and the SeaRAM system.The main radar system is an Hensoldt (formerly Airbus D&S) TRS-4D AESA Radar. Other sensors likely include a Variable Depth Sonar (likely Thales CAPTAS type), Argon ST WBR-2000 Electronic Support Measure and Threat Warning System. The combat management system is set to be similar to the one fitted onboard the Freedom class LCS: The COMBATSS-21 by Lockheed Martin.

Saudi Navy MMSC LCS Lockheed Martin SNA 2018 news 4 The KSA flag on the MMSC.

Below the helicopter deck is a mission bay area with built in modularity. Hull size and shape, propulsion system, power output, helicopter hangar etc remain unchanged compared to the U.S. Navy Freedom class LCS.

The deal signed in 2017 also include spares, training and other logistics items for the program. A Memorandum of Understanding between Lockheed Martin and Saudi Arabian Military Industries for the parties to work together to build defense capabilities in the KSA to support Vision 2030 and provide for localization efforts associated with Multi-mission Surface Combatants was signed as well.


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