Home » News & Analysis » Navy To Award Lockheed Martin Sole-Source Contract For Frigate Combat Management System


Navy To Award Lockheed Martin Sole-Source Contract For Frigate Combat Management System

USS Freedom (LCS-1), left, and USS Independence (LCS-2) in 2012. US Navy Photo

USS Freedom (LCS-1), left, and USS Independence (LCS-2) in 2012. US Navy Photo

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) intends to award a sole-source contract to Lockheed Martin for a combat management system for the future frigates, after the Navy determined the company is the only one capable of delivering the system without slowing down the rest of the acquisition program.

The current Littoral Combat Ship fleet is split evenly between Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant hull design with the Combat Management System Component Based Total Ship System – 21st Century (COMBATSS-21) system and Austal’s Independence-variant with a Northrop Grumman Integrated Combat Management System. When the LCS program shifts to the frigate program, though, the Navy has said it wants to take the opportunity to whittle down to a single, common combat management system (CMS).

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training (LM MST) will provide that common system, according to a notification on FedBizOpps (FBO).

“Following announcement of the future modified LCS, the FF, the Navy conducted a review of potential common combat management systems to procure for the FF,” NAVSEA spokesman Chris Johnson told USNI News.
“The Navy determined that COMBATTS-21 was the only common combat management system which would not result in unacceptable delays to FF design and acquisition timelines.”

According to FBO, the contract would cover work from Fiscal Years 2016 to 2021, including “the development, software and hardware integration, procurement, and delivery of two COMBATSS-21 CMS for LCS Class Frigate ships.”

The contract would also buy the hardware and develop the software so that the common CMS could be backfitted onto the Freedom- and Independence-variant LCSs, according to the notice.

The contract will also include options for logistics products to support the CMS, hardware for two more FF ship sets and engineering support.

“LM MST is the only source that can meet the Navy’s Frigate shipbuilding program schedules. This notice is not a request for competitive proposals,” the FBO notice reiterates.

The Navy could not yet comment on why Lockheed Martin was deemed the sole capable source for the common CMS contract.

In April, Program Executive Officer for LCS Capt. Dan Brintzinghoffer said the Navy may keep the two hull designs in the frigate program but the FFs would have common combat systems, common over-the-horizon radars and over-the-horizon missiles, and possibly common consoles. He said at the time that he had about 18 months to pick which specific systems he would include in the final frigate design.

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Categories: News & Analysis, U.S. Navy
Megan Eckstein

About Megan Eckstein

Megan Eckstein is a staff writer for USNI News. She previously covered Congress for Defense Daily and the U.S. surface navy and U.S. amphibious operations as an associate editor for Inside the Navy.

  • Sailboater

    Great news wonder if the new frigate will have a big 25mm for its main gun instead of 5 inch. Bet there is no VLS. No RAM. No cicw. No helicopter deck or helicopter ASW suite or torpedoes

    • Ken Adams

      So you really think they will delete EVERYTHING? Being a critic of LCS is fine, but at least be rational about it.

    • Frank Langham

      You are hating beyond logic. We can move forward with this but I wish the NSC/FFG was also part of the mix.

    • Secundius

      @ Sailboater.

      The 2019 Frigate Design Competition, Specifically calls for a 3-inch Deck Gun…

      • Greg Lof

        Does that mean we can bring back the 23cal.?

        • Secundius

          @ Greg Lof.

          Why would you want a 3-inch Deck Gun IN 23-Caliber For. 65 or 70-Caliber would be MUCH BETTER. 23-caliber is ww1 Standards…

          • Greg Lof

            Weight, the Mk 75 would add 5 plus tons without adding any real firepower because of the lack of a real firecontrol system.

          • Secundius

            @ Greg Lof.

            Just exactly why would adding 5-tons to the Hull make a Difference? Mk. 75’s were mounted on Pegasus class Patrol Missile Hydrofoils weighing only around 240-tons and had no known problems…

      • Sailboater

        76mm. That is sad. Most navies frigates sport a larger main gun. Have you look at the setup on the Incheon class Frigates ROKNavy

    • Secundius

      @ Sailboater

      Why would you mount “Swivel Wolves” as a Primary Deck Gun System. Mk. 38’s are not much good as an Offensive Gun System…

      • Sailboater

        I am being sarcastic in that remark about 25 mm gun

  • So LM again. It was a stupid call to build two different versions in the first place. Added to that stupidity was to have two different combat systems, one for each class. Question I would ask is can they communicate with each other and have common data links with other vehicles, i.e. drones, copters, etc. The first thing to do in the
    LCS/FF redo is to select one combat system for both vessels.

    • USNVO

      Yes, both systems use common Navy datalinks. Interestingly enough, if the system was included in a mission package, it already has a common operating system (mission module computing environment) because that part was common to both ships. Now if they would have common engineering equipment, common support systems, and common radars and such, life would be good. Having ships with two different gas turbines, two different MPDEs, two different SSDGs, two different radars suites, two different consoles, etc (just about two different of everything) is just idiotic. The Navy should have just gone with one design and been done with it, or at the very least, used the best of the various products from both ships. Oh, and got rid of the IF SSDGs, melted them down for scrap, and buried them at sea.

      • Greg Lof

        Go back and review the original program concept for the LCS prototypes, and you will see that the goal was to develop a single set of systems from which to created the production versions of the LCS. Personally, this competition between the two types was an excellent idea as it provide the time to fully test and develop all their systems before the selections. If the Navy made the mistake of assuming it had enough experience to design a LCS without, the odds are high that the program fail due to failure of any one critical systems or another.

        If I remember correctly the down selection of these systems was suppose to happen after the sixth LCS was delivered, which would be about now, so?

        PS I talking about the ships subsystem here, not the mission modules, which were completely different programs.

        • Secundius

          @ Greg Lof.

          When and How did Lockheed-Martin, Win Retroactively a 2019 Frigate Competition Build. The LCS classes are Capped at 32-Ship’s, 16-Ship’s from each Builder. The Selection to build a Frigate from a LCS based designed was awarded to Lockheed-Martin. They have YET too win the Frigate Competition in 2019…

          • Greg Lof

            I am not sure you can say that Lockheed-Martin won, as much as General Dynamic lost the competition for the LCS’s combat control system. Or at least that what I gather from comments posted by thoses who should know. If that included the “frigate” versions of the LCSs, it is because they are using the LCS as the base design for the “new” class.

          • Secundius

            @ Greg Lof.

            But Frigate version is 1/3 heavier at ~4,200-tons and ~410-feet long with a 2.992-inch/62-caliber (76x636mmR) Oto Melara Super-Rapid Naval Artillery Deck Gun with “Vulcano” capabilities or 20Mj/70-caliber BAe Rail-Gun. And speed down graded to ~40-knots maximum and 30-knots flank speed…

  • abillial

    I have had the pleasure of working with both programs. Qwerks in both designs but seems to be turning the corner on both, however, I applaud the Navy on their choice to go with one combat command system instead of having to support two different types of equipment on the same class of ship. And in my opinion, Lockheed Martin is the only selection. Austal builds a neat looking ship (likely wouldn’t survive a combat engagement), but the management there and how they treat their people is horrible so I wouldn’t count on that company being around for the long haul.

    • old guy

      Just like this product, in combat.

  • Secundius

    The actual Frigate Design Competition isn’t scheduled until 2019. Of the two LCS classes Lockheed-Martin, Won the First-Part of the Design Contract. Lockheed-Martin has 18-months to Finalize their Design Submission to the Competition. They DIDN’T Win the Final Frigate Design, YET. There are at Least FOUR other Competitor’s in the Competition. This is Just STEP ONE, there’s More To Come…

  • old guy

    Speaking as a LIFETIME Certified Professional Contract Manager (CERT 19XX), I would like to give my personal opinion of this award. We have here an item, similar to the product emerging from the terminal orifice of a male bovine’s digestive tract.

  • NavyMustang

    Having worked on both AEGIS and SSDS MK2, I can attest that the COMBATTS-21 is the superior system and should be on the carriers and amphibs as well. I’ve studied the Thales system, SAABTech and TERMA systems in addition to the US systems. Terma is good, Then Thales. SSDS MK-2 is at the bottom of all IMHO.

  • Frank Langham

    NIFC-CA / AW integrated node. Really a minimum requirement and will go a long way towards survivability (as a sensor/comm node, if nothing else).

  • John B. Morgen

    The LCS warships are the wrong ships that we should be building, if they intend to confront the PLAN. Instead, we should continue to build and deploy more Arleigh Burke class warships, back up with updated Ticonderoga class cruisers. The latter two warships are a lot more capable than the LCS warships; although, all three groups of warships are lacking of having the four point close in defense system. The LCS class warships are nothing more than ocean-going gun boats (PGs), or light frigates (FFLs). Nevertheless the United States Navy is making the same mistake that it made during the 1930’s when the USS Erie (PG-50) and USS Charleston (PG-51) were built as part of a strategy that required large numbers of ocean gun boats with fewer larger warships built, just like what’s driving the LCS concept. Building cheap and lesser armed warships is a very bad idea; especially when the PLAN is NOT building the same type of warships. The LCS is an inferior type warship, and the USN should stop building them…..

    • publius_maximus_III

      More Destroyers, More Destroyers, More Destroyers!!!

      Big enough to get ‘er done in blue water, especially in destroyer groups, but small enough not to break the bank.

      • John B. Morgen

        I’d rather have fewer warships that are properly armed than having under armed warships to go up against well armed PLAN/Russian warships. What makes a warship is based on how much money is place on its dinner plate.

      • Greg Lof

        The USN has a lot more needs Mr Morgan than are dreapt in your philosophy. And the USN has a lot more to do, than prepare to fight one potential adversary.

        • John B. Morgen

          Greg Lof: Have you been keeping up what the United States Navy in the South China Sea and also in the Indian Ocean? Well, For example, the United States Navy is working very closely with the Indian Navy by providing India with profound assistance in aircraft carrier designs, and other naval technologies in the response to the PLAN’s aircraft carrier expansion programs. The PLAN is the major threat to our interests, and it is not something that I had “(dreapt)” as you put it. China has always been a major threat to India, and recently India has become our major new ally in the Central Asia.
          And one other thing, the my last name is spelled Morgen and NOT [an].

          • Greg Lof

            I apologies about misspelling your name.
            First, the PG-50s and their CG built sisters were design to meet a set of requirement created by a treaty, not a military one. And actually they could have been quite useful if the USN hunted German surface raiders.
            Second, have you ever considered the problems the USN, had with the German Navy at the start of WWII? We when completely unprepared to deal with the convoy battles, mostly because the USN was fixated on plan Orange, and did not consider the possibility of war with any European power (expect maybe Britain)

          • John B. Morgen

            Greg Lof: That is correct the USS Erie class (PG-50) gun boats (sloops) were built as the result
            of the London Treaty. The treaty stated that warships of the sloop class could be between 600 to 2,000 tons, with the maximum size armament of 6.1 inch guns,
            but unlimited numbers could be built. Admiral Pratt, the senior head of the American delegation thought the United States should be building 2,000 ton sloops, instead, limited the Fleet with fewer cruisers. Of course, he was also hoping the rest of the navies would follow suit, which they did not because they preferred to have 10,000 ton cruisers instead; although, Britain wanted to do away with the
            heavy cruisers due to high costs of building them for much smaller cruisers.

            The Navy only built two Erie class warships and 13 cutters
            (sloops) for the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard cutters were a God send when the United States had officially entered the war with Germany, but had very few of them for convoy duty. The United States suffered very high merchant ship losses along the Eastern seaboard by German U-boats. The United States Navy and its leadership under Admiral Stark were totally unprepared, while the Royal Navy
            and the Royal Canadian Navy were building hundreds of escorts ships, but Admiral Stark did nothing about building ocean going sloops in large numbers;
            although, he had Erie class gun boats that could have been place in mass production. The Erie class was only ideal for the convoy and anti-submarine warfare missions.

            Sorry for the belated response, I had family matters that
            required my attention.

          • Secundius

            @ John B. Morgan.

            If memory serves, the ERIE class Gunboat, was ~328-feet long, between 2,000 and 2,900-tons, with a crew of ~240 and mounted Four 5.906-inch (150mm/47-caliber) Deck Guns PLUS One Spotter Aircraft. Just fast enough for Convoy Escort Duties or as a riverine Heavy Gunboat for Fire Support Missions on the Yangtze River Patrols, where it was better suited because of its 8,000-nmi. range at ~10-knots…

          • John B. Morgen

            The Erie class gun boats [sloops] were Admiral Pratt’s
            brain-child, based on solely on the concept of building and deploying large
            numbers of such vessels in lieu of building cruisers. The numbers of these so-called gun boats were
            not restricted by the London Naval Treaty as much for cruisers, but only the
            main armament and tonnage were restricted. Both the Erie & Charleston were armed
            with four 6 inch/47 guns, which were worthless against aircraft; but ideal for
            defending against auxiliary merchant cruisers and other lesser class warships.
            The Erie and Charleston were not built solely
            for operations on the Yangtze River; although, they could navigate up the river
            like most other European sloops of the time period. However, they were product
            of the times with limited naval construction budgets, which the United States
            Navy is thinking about repeating the same folly with the LCS.

          • Skinny Jay

            Chinas a threat, so we build more ships. How about we stop manufacturing everything there if they are such a threat. No money for education but let’s continue to feed the MIC. how much bigger does the world’s largest Navy need to be?

          • John B. Morgen

            We need to build the right types of warships, and not the types of warships that PLAN can despatch very quickly such as the LCS.

            Skinny Jay: You should be directing your attention to the American companies that have shifted American jobs over to China for greedy profits. Do you buy American? Americans are funding the PLA’s expansion programs by buying so-called American-Chinese goods. And for your information, the United States Navy has mothballed a few Ticonderoga class cruisers; so much for the MIC.

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  • John B. Morgen

    Instead, the United States should be building a new cruiser class that is design for dual-purpose missions, very similar to the decommissioned French Commandant Riviere class frigates.

    • Sailboater

      Yes I agree. A new cruiser class that is 700ft long 70 feet wide instead of a modified destroyer hull

      • John B. Morgen

        During the mid-1970’s it was proposed by the United States Navy to build nuclear powered strike cruisers (CSGN). These cruisers were not built during the fiscal year 1977 budget, instead they were cancelled in favor building the Ticonderoga (CG) class cruisers.
        This cruiser class would have been over 600 feet, and 14,000 tons; however, other proposals were made to enlarge the CSGN design, then there more proposals to convert the USS Long Beach (CGN-9) into a (CSGN), which required to remove all existing superstructures; again, all of these proposals were cancelled.

        • Sailboater

          I remember the California and Virginia class CGN’s. Sweet looking. Ticonderoga class looked top heavy and I heard there are structural problems as well

          • John B. Morgen

            I like the California class more than the Virginia class because I thought the former had a much better armament layout design than the the latter. As for the Ticonderoga class, yes I agree that the class looks a bit top heavy. I would redesign this CG-47 class by making the hull longer, and the beam wider; plus, cut down the height of the superstructure. I would also add eight additional Phalanx gun units, for additional protection against SSMs/ASMs.

          • Sailboater

            Have you ever gone back and looked at the dimensions for the Baltimore class heavy cruisers that were produced during in at the end of World War II With all that steel and everything they could still do the setting excess of 33 knots. The whole design 700 feet long and 70 feet wide I think Drew like 22 feet they never lost any during the war took a lot of punishment

          • John B. Morgen

            The USS Canberra (CA-70) was the only Baltimore class heavy cruiser that was damaged during World War
            II, she was struck by a Japanese aircraft torpedo on 15 October 1944. The Canberra was put out of action, but was repaired and put back into service.

            The Canberra was later converted into a guided missile
            cruiser on 6/1956, she was armed with two-twin Terrier (SAM) missile launchers. Her A and B turrets were kept, and most of secondary armament s was also kept. However, she lost her Y turret, and also all aft secondary armament. Her 40mm flak guns were replaced with twin 3 inch guns. Her superstructure was remodeled with a
            new bridge and a single funnel. In fact, she became a new cruiser, which the
            Canberra also received a new classification as CAG-2.

            Baltimore class—

            Displacement: 13,600 tons

            Length: 664 feet (wl); 675 feet (oa)

            Beam: 71 feet

            Draft: 20.5 feet

            I think the cruisers that you are referring to is the USS
            Des Moines class, which were the largest heavy cruisers in the United States Navy. Three of them were built, one
            named was cancelled; eight unnamed were cancelled. None of them saw combat during World War II, but were very active during the Cold War.

            Des Moines class—

            Displacement: 17,000 tons

            Length 700 feet (wl); 716.5 feet (oa)

            Beam: 76.5 feet

            Draft: 22 feet.

  • Sailboater

    In 1990 the navy had a 100 frigates. Now there are none. Please LM steal the hull design to the Brits type 26 frigate. And let’s build 16 new cruisers based on a Baltimore Heavy cruiser hull. You know those 30 knot plus cruisers

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    Since the Burke class is such a successful design. Why not build a scale down version of it for the new Frigate that can work closer inshore along with the Cyclone class patrol ship And build a larger version of the Burke as the new carrier battle group AAW and strike cruiser. For working with stand alone surface action groups

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