SECNAV Braithwaite Names First FFG(X) USS Constellation.
The FFG(X) program is a Navy program to build a class of 20 guided-missile frigates (FFGs). The United States Congress funded the procurement of the first FFG(X) in FY2020 at a cost of $1,281.2 million. The new ship will be able to operate independently or as part of a strike group, it will deliver an Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR), Mk 41 Vertical Launching System, and Baseline 10 (BL 10) Aegis Combat System capabilities. The ship’s lethality, survivability, and improved capability will provide Fleet Commanders multiple options while supporting the U.S. National Defense Strategy across the full range of military operations.
Constellation Class Frigates will be built at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin with the first ship scheduled for delivery in 2026. Four industry teams were competing for the FFG(X) program. On April 30, 2020, the U.S. Navy announced that it had awarded the FFG(X) contract to the team led by Fincantieri/Marinette Marine (F/MM) of Marinette, WI. F/MM was awarded a fixed-price incentive (firm target) contract for Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) for up to 10 ships in the program—the lead ship plus nine option ships.
The FFG(X) ship is to be a multimission small surface combatant capable of conducting anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), antisubmarine warfare (ASW), and electromagnetic warfare (EMW) operations. Compared to an FF Knox-class destroyer concept that emerged under a February 2014 restructuring of the LCS program, the FFG(X) is to have increased AAW and EMW capability, and enhanced survivability.
The ship’s area-defense AAW system is to be capable of local area AAW, meaning a form of area-defense AAW that extends to a lesser range than the area defense AAW that can be provided by the Navy’s cruisers and destroyers. She is to be capable of operating either independently (when that is appropriate for its assigned mission) or as part of larger Navy formations.