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US NAVY: Headlines and deadlines

The US Navy has capitalised on lower than expected tenders for a major contract to design and build up to 55 warships. Instead of an original intention to order a batch of ten Littoral Combat Ships of the winning design from two competing consortia for $4.8 billion, the navy realised they could get better value by ordering 20 ships, ten from each, for the same amount of money.

However, the late change of plan was not a formality, as such a move required congressional approval. This only came at the eleventh hour. Given the go-ahead, the navy placed orders with shipyards from each consortia for an additional vessel with options for nine more.

The decision to opt for both designs indicates a close match between the Lockheed Martin monohull and the trimaran alternative from Austal. The US Navy believes that having both types will offer increased operational flexibility, with eachhaving specific operationaladvantages.

Ships Montly - January 2024

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