The US Navy has selected Marinette Marine, a subsidiary of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, to build 10 new FFG(X) class of guided-missile frigates.
On Thursday, the Pentagon announced it awarded Wisconsin-based Marinette Marine Corp., $795.12 million for detail design and construction (DD&C) of the first FFG(X) frigate, besides various other ancillary costs. This also includes separate options for nine additional frigates.
“The FFG(X) will have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and electronic warfare and information operations. The base contract includes the DD&C of the first FFG(X) ship and separately priced options for nine additional ships. The contract with options will provide for the delivery of up to 10 FFG(X) ships, post-delivery availability support, engineering and class services, crew familiarization, training equipment and provisioned item orders. If all options are exercised, the cumulative value of this contract will be $5.6 billion,” the Pentagon said on April 30.
The shipbuilder’s design, a variant of its FREMM frigate, has defeated those from General Dynamics Bath Iron Works-Spanish Navantia partnership, Austal USA and Huntington Ingalls. Lockheed Martin pulled out as a prime contractor last year.
The FREMMs feature a highly efficient combined diesel-electric and gas (CODLAG) propulsion system. These ships have a full load displacement of about 6,500 tons, an overall length of about 144 metres and a top speed exceeding 27 knots.
The Navy estimates that fitting the first FFG(X) out with the required weapons, sensors, and other systems could raise the total purchase cost to $1.281 billion. The Navy wants construction of the first ship to begin by 2022 and be completed by 2022.
The service expects the average cost of each warship drop to $781 million as over the course of the production run.
Work is expected to be complete by May 2035.