Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) has dedicated a new facility at the Marinette shipyard for the construction of the US Navy’s Constellation-class frigates.
The facility Building 35 is connected to a new panel line where steel is prepared, marked, cut, and welded on an automated assembly line complete with robotic welders. This is where the Constellation-class frigate’s large steel plates with be cut and welded.
The new facility and panel line offer “vast improvements in the overall steel preparation, manufacturing, and staging processes that will be needed” in the construction of Constellation-class frigates, the firm emphasized.
The 2972-square meter building and the panel line are part of the $300 million FMM has recently invested into its shipyards.
The company received a contract in 2020 that could be worth $5.5 billion to design and build the navy’s newest class of ships, the Constellation-class frigate. FMM is scheduled to begin construction on the first frigate this year.
FMM plans to build two ships per year after the ship design is stabilized. The lead ship is scheduled for delivery in 2026 and the second vessel in 2027.
In addition to these ships, the navy’s contract with FMM has options for eight additional frigates which would be built in Wisconsin using Fincantieri’s system-of-shipyards, which includes Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, as well as Fincantieri ACE Marine in Green Bay.