"LCS Bids Submitted to U.S. Navy"
By Christopher P. Cavas
3 Aug 2009
Bids to build the next Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) have been submitted by both industry teams to the U.S. Navy.
Lockheed Martin announced its proposal was sent to the Navy on July 31, and rival General Dynamics confirmed its plans were sent in by the Aug. 3 deadline.
At stake are contracts to build three ships requested in the 2010 defense budget. The Navy has said the competition winner will receive two construction contracts, while the other team will get one ship.
House appropriators, however, passed their version of the defense bill with four LCS ships, while both House and Senate authorizers have agreed to the three ships in the president's budget. Senate appropriators have yet to pass their version of the defense bill.
Neither industry team would discuss specifics of their proposals. Congress has laid on a cost cap for each of the 2010 LCS ships at $460 million, although both Navy and industry sources call that goal a "challenge," at least until shipbuilders get more ships to build and can realize economies of scale.
Lockheed and its primary shipbuilder, Marinette Marine, delivered their first ship to the Navy last fall. General Dynamics and its shipyard, Austal USA, have run preliminary trials on their first ship and are working to deliver it in a few weeks.
Each shipbuilder received contracts this spring to begin work on a second ship.No contract awards are expected until after the 2010 defense bills are enacted into law.
Regarding the LCS-2 builder's trials almost one year after LCS-1 builder's trials:
From MarineLog...July 29, 2009
"Navy releases video of LCS 2 sea trials"
Reports filtering out on the builder's trials of LCS 2 Independence, indicate that the Austal-built Littoral Combat Ship attained 43 knots with all diesels, gas turbines and waterjets on line, but at less than full power. Teething troubles encountered have included a leak in the port gas turbine shaft seal.
Meantime, the Navy recently released video of the trials, shot on June 12
Video comparing LCS-2 to LCS-1: