Lockheed Martin recently awarded Gibbs & Cox, the nation’s leading independent naval architecture and marine engineering firm, a contract to support the Functional Design of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC).
A derivative of the Freedom-variant, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC was selected to fulfill the Royal Saudi Naval Forces’ (RSNF) multi-mission surface combatant requirement. In May 2017, the United States Navy and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for four MMSCs. This agreement represents the first sale of a U.S.-built surface combatant to another nation in more than 40 years.
“We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Lockheed Martin and extend our partnership to a new derivative and customer,” said Chris Deegan, Gibbs & Cox president and CEO. “G&C’s 85 years of surface combatant design experience has supported many of the world’s navies via Foreign Military Sales. We look forward to working with Lockheed Martin to design the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant to meet the needs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
The MMSC is a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant capable of littoral and open ocean operation. It was designed from the keel up to confront modern maritime and economic security threats.
The MMSC takes the proven capabilities of the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship and the inherent flexibility of the Freedom-variant hull to meet the unique maritime requirements of international navies. The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and can reach speeds in excess of 30 knots. It will be based on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship’s 118 meter hull and it will utilize the same combined diesel and gas propulsion system.