Navy awards Fincantieri Marinette Marine 3rd frigate

Written by Nick Blenkey
Constellation class propulsion train will get land based testing

Constellation class frigate [Image: Fincantieri Marine Group]

The Department of Defense announced today that the Navy awarded Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wis., a $536,875,440 fixed-price incentive (firm target) and firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-2300 to exercise options for the detail design and construction of one Constellation-class guided-missile frigate, the future USS Chesapeake (FFG 64), and integrated digital environment support.

Work is expected to be completed by August 2028. Fiscal 2022 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $536,875,440 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The USS Chesapeake is the third ship in the class. following  the future USS Congress (FFG 63), and this latest award follows successful completion of the program’s Critical Design Review milestone in May. It is now proceeding to the Production Readiness Review and start of production for the lead ship, USS Constellation (FFG 62).

“We are pleased with the award, and our focus remains on working with the Navy to build the best frigate in the world,” said Fincantieri Marine Group President and CEO Dario Deste.

Fincantieri is nearly complete with its $300 million construction and renovation project aimed at enabling construction of two frigates each year. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers was in Marinette last month for the dedication of one of the newest buildings in the shipyard, the massive “Building 34,” where two 500-ft. ships can be erected and finished side-by-side in a climate-controlled environment.

According to NAVSEA, the Constellation Class guided missile frigate will be a highly capable and survivable multi-mission platform designed for operations in blue water and the littoral environments. The frigates are designed to operate independently or as part of Carrier/Expeditionary Strike Group or a Surface Action Group, and are manned and equipped for Navy Composite Warfare and Joint Maritime Operations. The Constellation Class has the multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare and information operations. Specifically, FFG ships include an Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) radar, Baseline Ten (BL10) AEGIS Combat System, a Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), communications systems, MK 110 57-mm Gun Weapon System (GWS) and added capability in the Electronic Warfare/Information Operations area with design flexibility for future growth. The frigates will also conduct offensive and defensive Anti-Submarine Warfare.

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