March 6 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for services in support of the construction of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships for Saudi Arabia.
The deal, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $481.1 million under an undefinitized contract action for long-lead-time material.
The Pentagon says that Multi-Mission Surface Combatant, or MMSC ships, are "lethal and highly-maneuverable surface combatant capable of littoral and open-ocean operation."
The deal dates to a multi-billion-dollar negotiation that started in 2015 for construction of the ships, which was finalized in 2017 as part of a larger $110 billion defense deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Work on the contract will occur in multiple locations in the United States, as well as Canada, Germany and Sweden. The project is expected to be complete in October 2024.
More than $240.5 million will be obligated to Lockheed Martin at time of award from foreign military sales funds for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Defense Department said the obligated funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.