By Gavin Gibbon
Four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants ships to be built as part of America's Foreign Military Sales programme
Wisconsin-based Fincantieri Marinette Marine has won a $1.3 billion contract from the US Navy to build four ships for Saudi Arabia.
The team, led by global security and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, will construct the four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants ships as part of America’s Foreign Military Sales programme.
The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant is a lethal and highly-manoeuvrable, multi-mission surface combatant, which features the flexibility of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) steel mono-hull, built by the same team for the US Navy - nine LCS vessels have been delivered and there are currently seven ships in various stages of construction.
It has 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.
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “Orders such as these, besides being very significant from an economic point of view, mark themselves for important industrial aspects. This result caps off a remarkable work, which has brought us to consolidate an unparalleled reputation also in the US market, known to be very complex. It also is an acknowledgement of the strategic, technological and management skills that Fincantieri is able to express always to the highest level and in any context”.
Lockheed Martin and FMM, together with the naval architect Gibbs & Cox and over 800 suppliers in 42 states, are already cooperating for the US Navy’s LCS program, one of the most ambitious in the world within the surface ships.