July 2 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin was awarded a $7.1 million contract for combat system ship integration and testing on the next generation of guided-missile frigates.
The contract, with options, could be worth up to $125 million, the U.S. Defense Department announced Monday.
The work will include integration engineering support and test planning as well as waterfront ship integration and testing, post-delivery engineering support to government test teams, engineering services for ship integration, and test and developing test program documents for FFG(X) ships.
Seventy percent of the work will be performed at the selected FFG(X) ship builder location and 30 percent at Lockheed's Rotary and Mission Systems plant in Moorestown, N.J. It is expected to be complete in June 2025.
Naval fiscal 2019 research development test and evaluation funding in the amount of $1 million will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
The Pentagon is in the process of selecting the prime contractor for the new class of ships, which will have "multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare and information operations," according to the Navy. Each ship would have at least 32 vertical launching system cells and an AEGIS-based combat system.
The Navy on June 20 released the final solicitation for companies to bid on the design and construction of FFG(X).
The request for proposals, or RFP, is for the first 10 ships -- one base ship and nine option vessels. The Navy expects to award a contract to one company in fiscal year 2020.
Lockheed was among five companies awarded $15 million contracts to refine their own frigate parent designs. Lockheed, which builds the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, later announced it would not continue with the frigate competition.
Also awarded design contracts were Huntington Ingalls Industries, Austal USA, Fincantieri Marine and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works.
A parent ship design must have been through production and demonstrated in full scale at sea.