Lockheed contracted for weapons system changes on Navy's future frigate

July 23 (UPI) — Lockheed Martin has been contracted to design a version of the AEGIS Weapons System for the U.S. Navy’s future Guided Missile Frigate program.

The contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is a modification of a previous contract for AEGIS Weapons System requirements for the FFG(X) program that includes altering the Frigate Combat Management System, which is currently under development.

Lockheed was contracted for development of the CMS earlier this month under a deal worth up to $125 million.

The new modification sees the company modifying the already under design CMS to “integrate increased combat system element capability” to craft an AEGIS system better adapted to the FFG(X) design.

Work on adapting the CMS is expected to be finished in September 2021. The Navy has obligated $1.9 million from fiscal 2019 Navy research, development, test and evaluation funds.

The Navy on June 21 issued its final request for proposals for design of the FFG(X) and plans to select one of four companies competing for the program sometime in fiscal 2020.

Lockheed was one of five companies originally awarded $15 million contracts for the design contest but pulled out, leaving Austal USA, Fincantieri Marine, Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works vying for the next generation production contract.

The new frigate program is meant to be a follow-on to the Navy’s littoral combat ship program, with the branch saying it wants more weapons and capabilities than either of the LCS variants can handle.

Initially, the Navy plans to build 10 FFG(X) vessels. The long-term plan is to build 20 of the frigates.

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