Home Americas Fincantieri wins US Navy’s FFG(X) guided missile frigate competition

Fincantieri wins US Navy’s FFG(X) guided missile frigate competition

FFG(X) Fincantieri FREMM
A US Navy graphic of the guided-missile frigate FFG(X) based on Fincantieri's FREMM design

The US Navy has selected Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri as the preferred bidder for the construction of the navy’s next generation small surface combatant, the guided missile frigate (FFG(X)).

The $795 million contract for detail design and construction of up to 10 frigates (consisting of one base ship and nine option ships) was announced by the navy on April 30.

Fincantieri’s bid was selected over those proposed by Austal, Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics. Lockheed Martin withdrew from the competition in 2019.

The ships, based on Fincantieri’s FREMM frigate design, which is in service with the navies of France and Italy, will be delivered by Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) of Marinette, Wisconsin.

“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 FFG(X) will have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations. Specifically FFG(X) will include an enterprise air surveillance radar (EASR) radar, baseline ten (BL10) AEGIS combat system, a Mk 41 vertical launch system (VLS), communications systems, MK 57 gun weapon system (GWS) countermeasures and added capability in the EW/IO area with design flexibility for future growth.

“I am very proud of the hard work from the requirements, acquisition, and shipbuilder teams that participated in the full and open competition, enabling the Navy to make this important decision today,” said James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. “Throughout this process, the government team and our industry partners have all executed with a sense of urgency and discipline, delivering this contract award three months ahead of schedule. The team’s intense focus on cost, acquisition, and technical rigor, enabled the government to deliver the best value for our taxpayers as we deliver a highly capable next generation Frigate to our Warfighters.”

The acquisition process for FFG(X) began in 2017. The navy noted that because the frigate acquisition program promoted shipbuilding competition included early industry involvement and open communication between all stakeholders, the program was able to accelerate almost 6 years as compared to normal shipbuilding programs.

The navy released the FFG(X) DD&C request for proposals to industry on June 20, 2019. Technical proposals were received in August 2019 and cost proposals were received in September 2019.