Pentagon Awards Over Half a Billion Dollars to Build New Littoral Combat Ship

© Photo : United States Navy / Paul FarleyUSS Monterey underway
USS Monterey underway - Sputnik International
The Pentagon announced on Friday it had awarded over half a billion dollars contract to build a new littoral combat ship for the US military.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Austal USA is being awarded a more than $584-million contract to build a new littoral combat ship (LCS), the US Department of Defense announced in a press release

"Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, is being awarded a not-to-exceed Congressional cost cap of $584,200,000 contract for the construction of a littoral combat ship, to include associated LCS class services and related material, and integrated data environment support," the release said on Friday.

The Defense Department explained the contract also includes options for the construction of additional LCS post-delivery support.

Littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) - Sputnik International
General Dynamics Wins US Navy Littoral Combat Ship Support Contract
LCS warships come in two variants: Independence-class and Freedom-class. The Austal USA is an Independence ships LCS and has a larger flight deck and hanger than the Freedom-class vessels.

The two variants are designed anticipating increasing threats from coastal mines, diesel submarines, pirates and small fast attack boats of the type the Iranians employ, according to published reports.

The warships are expected to serve as communications nodes transmitting data to and from aircraft, ships, submarines and combat units ashore.

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