Kenneth J. Braithwaite, Secretary of the US Navy, announced USS Constellation (FFG 62) as the name for the first ship in the new guided-missile frigate (FFG(X)) class of ships.
The name was unveiled on October 7 while Braithwaite was aboard the museum ship Constellation in Baltimore Inner Harbor.
As explained, the name was selected in honor of the first US Navy ships authorized by Congress in 1794 — six heavy frigates named United States, Constellation, Constitution, Chesapeake, Congress, and President. This will be the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name Constellation.
“As the first in her class, these ships will now be known as the Constellation Class frigates, linking them directly to the original six frigates of our Navy, carrying on the traditions of our great service which have been passed down from generation to generation of Sailors,” Braithwaite said.
The small surface combatants will contribute to meeting the goal of 355 battle force ships. With the ability to operate independently or as part of a strike group, they will have an Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR), Mk 41 Vertical Launching System, and Baseline 10 (BL 10) Aegis Combat System capabilities. The ships’ lethality, survivability, and improved capability will provide Fleet Commanders multiple options while supporting the National Defense Strategy across the full range of military operations.
Constellation-class frigates will be built at Marinette Marine Corporation facility — the US subsidiary of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri — in Marinette, Wisconsin with the first ship scheduled for delivery in 2026.
Back in late April this year, the US Department of Defense awarded the shipbuilder a nearly $800 million contract for the concept design and construction of the first-in-class ship. The contract also envisaged an option for nine additional units as well as post-delivery availability support and crew training.