After delivering three Independence-variant 421'6"x103.7' littoral combat ships this year, Austal USA was awarded a contract by the Navy today to build two additional LCSes for the Navy fleet.

That brings the total to four LCSes awarded to Austal USA in 2018. Each contract is under the congressional cost cap of $584 million per ship.

With eight delivered, six under construction, and three awaiting start of construction, these two additional LCSes are Austal USA’s 18th and 19th ships in the class.

“To be awarded two more LCS contracts before the end of the year is beyond exciting,” Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said in a statement announcing the new contract. “This contract directly reflects the confidence the U.S. Navy has in Austal USA and our supplier base of over 10,000 nationwide and our ability to build highly capable ships at an affordable cost.”

Each aluminum trimaran LCS has a displacement of 3,200 MT, a 15.1' draft and is powered by a pair of 12,200-hp MTU 20V8000 diesel engines and two 29,500-hp GE LM2500 gas turbines.

“The skill, hard work, and dedication of our employees is second to none and strengthens as we continue to play an important role in helping build the Navy’s 355-ship fleet,” said Perciavalle.

As the littoral combat ship’s role continues to take shape as a key component to the Navy’s ability to gain sea control through distributed lethality, Austal USA continues to deliver ships on-time and on-budget to support the needs of the fleet.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.