Lockheed Martin was awarded $698.9 million in funding under a contract originally awarded back in December 2010 for the construction of Navy Littoral Combat Ships, or LCSes. Today's funding announcement pays for Lockheed to perform basic seaframe construction on two LCSes, purchase select systems equipment for installation aboard the vessels, and integrate and test this equipment. This contract will run through August 2018.
Lockheed Martin's version of the LCS, as seen above in the first ship of the LCS line, USS Freedom (LCS 1), follows a traditional "monohull" warship design. Displacing 3,000 tons, the vessel measures 378 feet in length, carries a crew of from 50 to 98 sailors, and can carry up to two helicopters aboard. In addition, these LCSes are designed to carry various mission modules which can be switched out as needed to tailor the vessel to the missions it will be expected to perform on any given voyage.
Today's funding does not cover the entire cost of building Lockheed Martin's two vessels, which are expected to cost anywhere from $400 million to $800 million apiece when complete.