The effort comes after Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson called for additional capabilities for the LCS in 2017.
Joe DePietro, vice president of small combatants and ship systems at Lockheed, said the company received a technical instruction and $2M in funding under its class design services contract to begin a two-phase upgrade for the Freedom- and Independence-variant ships.
Initial work focused on integration of Raytheon and Kongsberg's anti-ship Naval Strike Missile, the Nulka MK 53 Decoy Launching System, the SLQ-32(V)6 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program system and a modification to the ship's fire control system for its 57mm guns.
The Navy plans to review upgrade plans for phase two in May, which officials expect to add laser weapons and either an eight-cell Mk-41 Vertical Launch System or a single-cell Mk-41 launchers on the Freedom-class LCS.
Meanwhile, the Independence-class ships are getting the Component-Based Total-Ship System-21st Century combat system for common training and logistics infrastructure.