The US Navy has issued Request for Information (RFI) on Monday for small surface combatant the future Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)).
The Navy desires to award a Detail Design and Construction contract in FY2020 for its next evolution of small surface combatant the FFG(X).
A competition for FFG(X) is envisioned to consider existing parent designs for a Small Surface Combatant that can be modified to accommodate the specific capability requirements prescribed by the US Navy, the RFI reads.
According to the RFI, the Navy is interested in the FFG(X) to provide Combatant and Fleet Commanders a uniquely suitable asset to achieve select sea control objectives and perform maritime security operations while facilitating access in all domains in support of strike group and aggregated fleet operations.
In terms of the Navy's Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) Concept, this FFG(X) small surface combatant will expand blue force sensor and weapon influence to provide increased information to the overall fleet tactical picture while challenging adversary ISR&T efforts.
The purpose of this type of ship is to fully support Combatant and Fleet Commanders during conflict by supplementing the fleet's undersea and surface warfare capabilities, allow for independent operations in a contested environment, extend the fleet tactical grid, and host and control unmanned systems; and relieve large surface combatants from stressing routine duties during operations other than war.
This platform will employ unmanned systems to penetrate and dwell in contested environments, operating at greater risk to gain sensor and weapons advantages over the adversary. The FFG(X) will be capable of establishing a local sensor network using passive onboard sensors, embarked aircraft and elevated/tethered systems and unmanned vehicles to gather information and then act as a gateway to the fleet tactical grid using resilient communications systems and networks.
To increase the FFG(X) self-defense, the Navy is particularly interested in understanding the trade space surrounding the addition of Launcher Capability (to support Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block 2 and/or Standard Missile-2 Active missiles). Solutions should describe the launcher type, cell quantities the proposed design could accommodate, and if able to be cost effectively integrated include considerations for strike length variants to maximize weapons flexibility.
The Navy is also interested in the potential space, weight, and volume the launcher represents that can be included in the FFG(X) design as well as how many cells could be accommodated if design changes were pursued along with understanding the capability trades and cost impacts of those changes. Any innovative approach vendors may have in providing a Launch System or increasing capacity by making design trades across FFG(X) requirements will also be considered.