Aug. 9 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Bath Iron Works has received a $33.6 million contract to exercise Option Year Four for yard support services for the Littoral Combat Ship.
This the contract option, announced by the Department of Defense on Wednesday, is for planning yard services for Freedom- and Independence-class LCS ships. The modification will provide for engineering, planning, ship configuration, material and logistics support for modernization and maintenance work on both classes of the LCS.
Work will be performed in Bath, Maine, and is expected to be completed by August 2019. Navy fiscal 2018 procurement and 2018 operations and maintenance funding in the amount of $16.5 million will be obligated at time of award.
The LCS is designed specifically to operate in shallow coastal waters, along with regular sea operations. It is designed to be modular, allowing multiple weapons and sensor packages depending on the mission of the ship.
It's standard armament is a MK 110 57mm gun. It can also be equipped with RIM-110 RAM surface-to-air missiles and a variety of other ordnance. It can carry up to two helicopters and vertical take-off drones like the MQ-8 Fire Scout. The vessel is designed to be modular and carry a variety of mission packages depending on the needs of missions.
The LCS has been criticized for design issues and a lack of significant firepower. Though production continues, it is expected to be supplemented by a new class of Guided Missile Frigates that carry vertical launch systems for missiles and other heavy weaponry.