The US Navy released a request for proposals (RFP) for the guided missile frigate FFG(X) detail design and construction contract on June 20.
Now Austal, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Fincantieri Marinette Marine and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works will compete for the contract to build the first 10 ships (one base ship and nine option ships).
Lockheed Martin withdrew from the competition earlier but said it would supply systems to the winning company.
The RFP provides for a full and open competition and will result in a contract awarded to one company in fiscal year 2020.
Major warfare systems that the US Navy would like to have on the frigate include an Aegis-derivative COMBATSS-21 combat management system, a C4I suite, an Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR), Mk53 Decoy Launching System (Nulka), a SeaRAM Mk15 Mod 31 in addition to a UAV and an MH-60R helicopter.
What the navy is particularly interested in is the ship’s vertical launch cell potential to support Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block 2 and/or Standard Missile-2 Active missiles.
To reach the navy’s full requirement of 20 FFG(X)s, a second contract is planned closer to fiscal year 2025 for the next 10 ships to ensure more accurate pricing on out-year ships. This will be beyond the six years planned for this initial contract.