While there is currently no official commitment from partner nations other than Saudi Arabia to purchase the Navy's Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC), the vessel's size makes it an "attractive" pick, the director of the service's international programs office said today.
"There's nothing officially on the table yet with the [Littoral Combat Ship] other than Saudi [Arabia]," Rear Adm. Francis D. Morley told Inside the Navy at a conference in Washington.
Morley, who oversees security cooperation with partner countries for the Navy and Marine Corps, said the ship’s size makes it "potentially attractive to many partners."
In July, the Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $450 million contract for the groundwork and design of four frigates Saudi Arabia is purchasing for its Navy.
"The MMSC provides the Royal Saudi Naval Forces a lethal and highly maneuverable multimission surface combatant, which features the flexibility of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship steel mono-hull with expanded capabilities that include an integrated Mk41 Vertical Launch System, an increased range of 5,000 nautical miles and speeds in excess of 30 knots, making it capable of littoral and open ocean operation, and able to confront modern maritime and economic security threats," Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems Vice President Joe DePietro said in a company statement at the time.
The ships are a version of the Navy's LCS Freedom class.
Morley said today smaller Navy vessels and the Coast Guard's national security cutters are the "most attractive" ships to other nations.