Lockheed Martin has withdrawn its bid in the competition to supply a new class of guided missile frigates for the US Navy.
The company said in a statement that it would no longer participate in the FFG(X) tender as a hull design contractor and that it will instead concentrate on developing the vessel’s combat and electronic warfare systems as a partner of Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), which is one of five prime contractor finalists remaining in the tender.
Although the navy review panel had earlier approved Lockheed Martin’s hull design bid, which would have been based on the Freedom-class littoral combat ship, senior company officials felt the design had far too limited potential to be able to accommodate the capabilities that the programme required.
Lockheed Martin then made the decision to concentrate on developing the vessel’s onboard systems as a subcontractor of FMM, which had submitted a design based on the FREMM frigates that Fincantieri is building for the Italian Navy.
The US Navy is scheduled to announce the winner of the tender, in which Bath Iron Works and Huntington Ingalls Industries are also finalists, in 2020.
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