The U.S. Navy awarded Austal a contract last week for two Independence class Littoral Combat Ships, LCS 36 and LCS 38, representing two of the three ships funded by Congress in the FY19 defense appropriations bill. The two LCSs represent the 18th and 19th Independence class ships, and the 33rd and 34th ships in the LCS program overall.
The Navy originally requested funding for a single ship in FY19, but lawmakers added an additional two hulls in their final markup. The ships will be built at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, and work under the contract will be completed by September 2025. The value of the contract was not announced because the competition for FY19 ships has not been completed.
Lockheed Martin will likely be awarded a contract for the third FY19 LCS, which will be the 35th ship in the program.
This contract follows a September contract award for the three LCS funded in the FY18 defense spending bill. That contract included one Freedom class ship (LCS 29) and two Independence class ships (LCS 32 and LCS 34).