littoral combat ship.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Looking to upgrade its sea-based capabilities, the Israel Navy has submitted a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the United States Navy for a new missile ship currently under development by Lockheed Martin Corp. The Defense Ministry said that the navy expects to receive a reply by April.
Designed for speed, maneuverability and amphibious operations, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was built by Lockheed Martin, according to US Naval specifications as a "Brown Water" ship. It is intended to operate in shallow waters along coasts and in depths that face threats from both land and sea.
The Israel Navy submitted the RFP - basically, a request for the ship's official price - to the US Navy several weeks ago. It had previously ordered a $5 million feasibility study from Lockheed Martin to examine whether the ship could meet Israeli needs and be integrated with Israeli-manufactured technological defense systems.
According to defense sources, the LCS, if acquired by the navy, would enhance Israel's long-arm capabilities and could be potentially used in a conflict with Iran. The ship, capable of carrying special forces and larger infantry units, can also carry midsize vehicles as well as two helicopters. It would also be installed with the Barak anti-missile defense system and would be able to intercept incoming missiles.
While the navy has filed the RFP, defense officials said it was still not certain whether Israel would purchase the LCS from Lockheed Martin. As part of its multi-year plan finalized in September, the IDF decided to purchase two new ships, but did not state from which company.
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