The U.S. Department of Defense announced today that the U.S. Navy is exercising a $553.8 million option to have Fincantieri Marinette Marine build the second Constellation-class frigate. The Wisconsin shipyard is currently working with the Navy on the detailed design phase of building the first-in-class USS Constellation (FFG-62), a modern guided-missile frigate based partially on the Italian FREMM. Fabrication is planned to start at the end of this year, and the ship is expected to deliver to the Navy in 2026.
This contract is the first of nine potential options on future guided-missile frigates for the Wisconsin shipyard. Fincantieri Marinette Marine received the initial FFG(X) contract April 30, 2020, for the lead ship and options for nine additional ships valued at $5.5B. Although the award happened several months earlier than planned, FMM went into the DD&C (Detail Design and Construction) phase with a lot of momentum. The approval on the second ship was expected based on progress on FFG design efforts, as well as the company’s demonstrated commitment and follow-through on capital improvements.
“While it is good to have additional work lined up for our shipyards, I believe the most important aspect of this decision is that our customer believes that together we are a strong team focused on delivering a capable and adaptable ship that will serve well into the future,” Dario Deste, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group. “We made substantial investments in our system-of-shipyards in Wisconsin, so that we can solidify our position as a surface combatant center of excellence. There are always challenges when you build a first-in-class ship, but we started with a phenomenal parent design — the FREMM — which is internationally known as a reliable, versatile and operationally-proven warship”
The future USS Congress (FFG 63) will be built at FMM’s shipyard in Marinette, Wisc. where preparations are being made to begin construction on lead ship USS Constellation (FFG 62). Like its sister ship, FFG 63 will have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations. Shipboard systems will include an Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) radar, Baseline Ten (BL10) AEGIS Combat System, a Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), communications systems, MK 110 57mm Gun Weapon System (GWS) and added capability in the Electronic Warfare/Information Operations area with design flexibility for future growth.