Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Saudis buy Four Freedom Class LCS Properly Upgraded to Frigates (inclusive of VLS)

Four Lockheed Martin Freedom-class ship variants are set to form the backbone of the Royal Saudi Navy’s Eastern Fleet as part of a $11.25 billion foreign military sales case presented to Congress on Monday.


Lockheed as presented several sizes of the Freedom for foreign sales and is yet unclear what the final tonnage of the Saudi variant will be.

The quartet — as described in the DSCA notification — will emphasize traditional anti-air warfare and will be built around two eight-cell Lockheed Martin Mk 41 vertical launch system (VLS) and an Airbus TRS-4D active electronically scanned array (AESA) air search radar.

The list also included 532 Raytheon RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) which can be loaded four to a Mk 41 cell. With 16 cells per hull, the Saudi Freedoms will be able to potentially field 64 anti-air missiles per-ship.

A December Naval Sea Systems Command contract award to Lockheed Martin included about $93 million for Mk 41 systems for Saudi Arabia, giving early hints to the direction of their SNEP II ship buys.

The ships will also field the 1980s era Boeing RGM-84 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles (ASM), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sonar suites and torpedoes as well as an OTO Melara 76 mm main deck gun.

Ok, US Navy, the Saudis just paid for the engineering work to get the LCS' to have VLS.  Put it in the SSC frigate, damnit.

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