The Navy has awarded a Lockheed Martin-led team, which includes Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), a $1.3 billion contract for the construction of four multimission surface combatant (MMSC) ships, as part of the Foreign Military Sales program. These ships will be for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Fincantieri will build the ships at the Marinette yard in Wisconsin. Exact specifications of the ship were not disclosed by Fincantieri, but the standard size of the MMSC is 118.6x17.6x4.3m (389'x58'x14'). The multimission surface combat ships will be powered by a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) propulsion system. They will have the ability to operate in high sea state conditions and reach a maximum speed of 30 knots, as well as a range of 5,000 nautical miles.

The MMSC is a lethal and highly-maneuverable, multimission surface combatant, which features the flexibility of the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship steel monohull, built by the same team for the Navy (nine LCS vessels have been delivered and there are currently seven ships in various stages of construction), 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.

Lockheed Martin and FMM, together with the naval architect Gibbs & Cox and over 800 suppliers in 42 states, are already working together in the Navy’s LCS program, one of the most ambitious in the world within the surface ships.

The MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Software library. The MMSC integrated combat system solution leverages the domestic LCS integration of the 57-mm Mk110 deck gun and SeaRAM, and expands multi-mission capability through integration of Over-The-Horizon surface-to-surface missiles, port and starboard 20 mm remote guns, a new fire control radar and a forward centerline 8 cell MK 41 Vertical Launch System equipped with RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles. The MMSC is also equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Torpedo Defense system.

“Orders such as these, besides being very significant from an economic point of view, mark themselves for important industrial aspects,” Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said in a statement. “This result caps off a remarkable work, which has brought us to consolidate an unparalleled reputation also in the U.S. 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.”