Russia Builds Nuclear-Powered Icebreakers the Size of WWII Battleships for $750M, Lockheed Needs $500M for a Frigate

8x the size of frigates in question

Has a displacement comparable to the famous battleship Arizona sunk at Pearl Harbor

Lockheed Martin has won a contract to build 4 frigates for Saudi Arabia for $2 billion:

The Navy announced Friday that Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.96 billion contract to build four multi-mission surface combatants for Saudi Arabia.

The ships, which are slated to be built at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, are derived from the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship design.

The contract announcement was posted on the Defense Department’s website Friday night.

“The awarded contract includes associated cost-plus-fixed-fee class design and related material and firm-fixed-price integrated data environment,” the announcement said.

That is $0.5 billion per a 4,000-ton frigate.

Russia meanwhile earlier this year ordered two more Arktika-class icebreakers for $1.5 billion:

The hulls of the Arktika’s sister vessels, the Ural and the Sibir, have also been launched by the Baltic Shipyard, and are likewise named for earlier Russian nuclear icebreakers that have been retired. Two more vessels in the line, which have yet to be named, are scheduled to launch in 2024 and 2026, according to a $1.47 billion government tender published in August.

That is $0.75 billion for a 33,000-ton nuclear-powered icebreaker capable of smashing through ice 3 meters (9 feet) thick.

The lesson here aside from that buying from the US defense sector is dear and that Saudis get especially crappy prices (25 percent over what the US paid for Littoral Combat Ships) is that comparing US and Russian defense and non-defense budgets at exchange rates doesn’t make sense.

A ruble simply buys so much more in Russia than the exchange rate would suggest.

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  1. Natural_Texan says

    Ship contract is a payoff for US collusion in mid-east mayhem.

  2. Mikhail Garchenko says

    “…they build ships, we make just business…” 😛

  3. Aurum Cimex says

    It tells us that the US dollar is extremely over valued. When that changes, as it must, things will get interesting for America.

    1. B Wilson says

      Let it begin

  4. Southern says

    Obviously the amount of public funds that has been going towards the MIC is overpriced and a racket.

    The reasons for building icebreakers does not complement the health of the environment, it does the complete opposite by deliberately destroying it in order to create shorter routes for cargo ships and off course access for arctic oil drilling !!!

    That the Russians are able to build ships cheaper than the overpriced US MIC is one thing – It is not being done for the right reasons and in the end both the US and RF are oligarchy’s as opposed to a haven for the working class.

    I question the wisdom of building icebreakers at a time when the amount of water that’s being added to the oceans due to melting arctic glaciers is the equivalent of 2000 elephants jumping in the ocean every second.

    At a time of rising sea levels – the last thing that should be celebrated is how cheap the Russians are able to build nuclear powered icebreakers that will only hasten global warming by destroying the polar ice caps.

    1. Reginald Martin says

      R MARTIN you miss the point ice is melting why not while US is robbing other country’s Russian people are setting up a future of trading, friends and empowering there country

      1. Southern says

        Ice melts when exposed to higher temperatures.

        My point – the one that you appear to have missed – is that Ice breakers are being build for all the wrong reasons – the breaking up of the Arctic ice is solely being done for corporate profits such as drilling for oil in the arctic which is an extremely silly thing to do since it will be impossible to contain an oil spill in subzero temperatures or when total darkness sets in during the winter.

        What should be invested in are renewable energies.

        Yes the US has been waging a series of lie based wars of aggression in order for her oligarchy to gain control over minerals and resources in other peoples countries.

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