The initial contract covers one base ship for $795 million and up to nine additional ships which could bring the total value to more than $5.5 billion if all options are exercised.
The Guided Missile Frigates will be the Navy’s newest class of warships, with multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations.
“The Navy’s Guided-Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) will be an important part of our future fleet,” said Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday. “FFG(X) is the evolution of the Navy’s Small Surface Combatant with increased lethality, survivability, and improved capability to support the National Defense Strategy across the full range of military operations. It will no doubt help us conduct distributed maritime operations more effectively, and improve our ability to fight both in contested blue-water and littoral environments.”
The acquisition process for the frigates was launched in 2017. It launched the detail design and construction Request for Proposals last June with technical proposals received in August and cost proposals were received in September. Competitors for the contract included Huntington Ingalls Industries, a team consisting of General Dynamics and Spain’s Navantia, and Austal.
Marinette Marine Corporation of Marinette, Wisconsin is a subsidiary of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.