The US Department of Defense (DOD) awarded Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), the US subsidiary of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, a nearly $800 million contract for the concept design and construction of the first-in-class guided-missile frigate of the FFG(X) program for the US Navy.
The contract envisages an option for nine additional ships, as well as post-delivery availability support and crew training, with the cumulative value amounting to $5.5 billion.
The US Navy plans to build ten additional vessels as part of the future frigate program, for a total of twenty.
In addition to the littoral combat ships program, envisaging the construction of sixteen vessels, FMM was awarded last December a multi-billion dollar order for the construction of four multi-mission surface combatants (MMSC) to be delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of the US Foreign Military Sales program.
Selected among several major US shipyards, FMM’s proposal is based on the FREMM frigate platform, recognized as the most technologically advanced and the base of a ten-unit program awarded to Fincantieri for the Italian Navy. The last vessel is currently under construction.
The FFG(X) will have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and electronic warfare and information operations.
FFG(X) represents the evolution of the US 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 in the current security environment.
Work is expected to be complete by May 2035, if all options are exercised, according to the US DOD.