MarineLink is reporting that Lockheed will be awarded a sole source contract to provide integrated combat management systems for the planned 20 frigate variants of the Littoral Combat Ships.
U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command announced its plan to award Lockheed a sole-source contract for development and construction of two initial combat systems in a federal notice earlier this month. The news was first reported this week by the U.S. Naval Institute News earlier this week.
Why might this system go on the Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs)? The system is a modified version of the Aegis system. Apparently an outgrowth of the system already on the monohull Freedom class LCS. The National Security Cutters of the Bertolf Class also use a modified version of the Aegis system. Looking at the graphic above apparently from Lockheed you will not in the description that the system is intended for “patrol ships” and refers to PCC combat management systems.
The MarineLink article talks about an intention to do software upgrades to the existing systems on the Freedom class Littoral Combat Ships. Presumably there might also be upgrades to the system on the Betholf class.
If we are lucky (and smart) we may end up with common systems across the entire new generation of 33 large cutters. And hopefully the Navy will pay for it. Having a common system over what could be 85 ships (32 LCS, 20 FF, 8 NSC, 25 OPC) has got to lead to some economies of scale.