The lead ship of the US Navy’s new FFG(X) frigate class will be named USS Constellation (FFG 62), the Secretary of the US Navy Kenneth Braithwaite has announced.
SECNAV made the announcement on October 7 speaking to reporters from aboard the sloop-of-war Constellation (1854), the last sail-only warship built by the US Navy. The first FFG(X) will be the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name.
The announcement comes after Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri was awarded a contract earlier this year to build up to ten ships in the class.
Prior to this decision, former US Navy secretary Thomas Modly proposed to name the first FFG(X) frigate USS Agility. What is more, an error in a Pentagon contract announcement from July this year indicated the first ship could be named USS Brooke, after the Confederate navy officer John Mercer Brooke. This was promptly reputed by officials.
The FFG(X) will be 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. They 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.
The newest USS Constellation is expected to be delivered by 2026.