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Fincantieri wins $1.3 bln U.S. Navy contract to build four ships for Saudi Arabia

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MILAN, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri won a contract worth approximately $1.3 billion from the U.S. Navy to build four ships for Saudi Arabia, it said on Friday.

The order is part of a multi-billion contract awarded to a consortium led by defence group Lockheed Martin - which includes Fincantieri's unit Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) - as part of U.S. foreign military sales program, Fincantieri said in a statement.

Fincantieri will build the four multi-mission surface combatant ships at its Marinette yard, in Wisconsin.

Chief Executive Giuseppe Bono said the contract helped Fincantieri "to consolidate an unparalleled reputation also in the U.S. market, known to be very complex."

Lockheed Martin and FMM, along with other suppliers, are already cooperating in the U.S. Navy's 'Littoral Combat Ship' program, Fincantieri's statement said. (Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Toby Chopra)