Italian ship building firm Fincantieri is investing up to $40m to modernise the US shipyards of Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) and Bay Shipbuilding Company.

The five-year project, worth $100m, is designed to support construction of the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and other government and commercial projects.

The MMC facility improvements include installing CNC-controlled pipe-bending equipment and doubling the lifting capacity in the module construction and outfit buildings.

Capital improvements for Bay Shipbuilding include a new floating dock, panel line and other related items to support the LCS programme.

The firm plans to provide an additional $60m over the next four years to improve capacity and reduce construction cycle times and overall costs.

Construction is expected to be complete in 2010.