Home Americas US Navy funds construction of second Constellation-class frigate ‘Congress’

US Navy funds construction of second Constellation-class frigate ‘Congress’

USS Constellation
An artist's rendering of the lead Constellation-class frigate (FFG 62)

The US Navy has awarded a contract modification to Fincantieri Marinette Marine to build the service’s second Constellation-class guided missile frigate.

“The Navy Program Office is pleased to award the option for the USS Congress (FFG 63) to our industry partner Fincantieri Marinette Marine,” said Capt. Kevin Smith, major program manager for Constellation-class frigate (PMS 515).

“As the second ship of the program, the USS Congress will provide a highly capable, next-generation surface combatant that our navy and nation needs.”

The future USS Congress (FFG 63) will be built at FMM’s shipyard in Marinette, Wisc. where preparations are being made to begin construction on lead ship USS Constellation (FFG 62).

According to a Pentagon contract announcement, the modification is worth $553.8 million and envisions the completion of work on the ship by January 2027.

Like its sister ship, FFG 63 will have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations. Shipboard systems 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 110 57mm gun weapon system (GWS) and added capability in the electronic warfare/information operations area.

The Constellation Class Frigate will be an important part of the Navy’s future Fleet. It represents the evolution of the Navy’s small surface combatant force with increased lethality, survivability, and improved capability to support the National Defense Strategy across the full range of military operations. It will help conduct distributed maritime operations more effectively and improve the Navy’s ability to fight both in contested blue-water and littoral environments.

The acquisition process for the Navy’s Constellation-class frigate began in 2017, and the service awarded Fincantieri Marinette Marine a framework contract for the first ten ships in the class in April 2020. The Constellation-class design is based on the FREMM frigates, which are in service with the navies of France and Italy.

USS Constellation, the lead ship in the class, is expected to be delivered by 2026.