The Navy has exercised contract options worth approximately $684 million to fund two additional Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) from Austal USA.

The contract options fund construction of the LCS 18 and LCS 20, the seventh and eighth ships in the 10-ship block buy award made to an Austal-led team in December 2010. That 10-ship program is potentially worth over $3.5 billion.

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said the company’s U.S. Navy programs provide revenue and workload for years to come.

Austal’s Independence-variant LCS program has five ships under various stages of construction, including Jackson (LCS 6) which was launched in December 2013 and is preparing for sea trials and delivery by the end of this year and Montgomery (LCS 8) which is scheduled to be launched by the summer.

“This award is further evidence of the Navy’s commitment to the LCS program and their confidence in Austal as a major defense contractor,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle.

For the LCS program, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. As the ship systems integrator for the LCS program, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems including the combat system, networks and seaframe control. 

Read more:

Get a tour of the LCS Independence here. See Ken Hocke's report on the christening of the LCS Coronado here.