Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wisconsin, is awarded a $536,875,440 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract to exercise options for detail design and construction of one Constellation-class guided-missile frigate, the future USS Chesapeake (FFG 64), and integrated digital environment support. USS Chesapeake will be the third ship of the Constellation class of guided-missile frigates and the sixth ship in the United States Navy bearing this name. Work will be performed in Marinette, Wisconsin and is expected to be completed by August 2028. The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
The design for the Constellation-class ships is based on the Italian and French navies’ FREMM multi-mission frigate. Last year, Marinette Marine won the initial contract to build the first frigate, the future USS Constellation (FFG-62). The shipyard, which is based in Marinette, Wis., and owned by Italian parent company Fincantieri, won the contract over multiple competitors, including Huntington Ingalls Industries, Austal USA, and a team of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and Navantia. The shipbuilder included space and power margin on the frigates so they can evolve throughout their service lives as new equipment comes online.
The Constellation class is a class of multi-mission guided-missile frigates under development for the United States Navy as a follow-on to the modular littoral combat ship. The U.S. Navy announced the FFG(X) frigate project in the United States Department of Defense Request For Information (RFI) on 10 July 2017. The U.S. Navy selected five shipbuilders to evolve their designs into a prospective design for the proposed twenty FFG(X) guided-missile frigates. On 30 April 2020, it was announced that Fincantieri Marinette Marine had won the contract with its FREMM multipurpose frigate-based design. The project was later renamed FFG-62 program after the lead ship was named.
Even with using the FREMM as a parent design, the Navy and designers Gibbs & Cox are making extensive revisions to accommodate not only American survivability standards. The U.S. Navy has stressed the multi-mission character of the new class rather than the modular mission package system of the Littoral Combat Ship. Estimated to displace about 7,300 tons fully loaded, the Connies will feature a derivative of the AN/SPY-6 radar being installed on the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, a 32-cell vertical launch system, Aegis Baseline 10 combat system and 16 anti-ship Naval Strike Missiles, with a crew of about 200.