US Navy picks Philadelphia Gear’s MRGs for future Constellation-class frigate USS Congress

Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM), a subsidiary of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, has awarded US-based engineering firm Philadelphia Gear a contract option to deliver the main reduction gears (MRGs) for the future USS Congress (FFG-63), the second frigate in the Constellation class of ships.

Courtesy of Fincantieri

Philadelphia Gear, a Timken Company, is designing components of the ship’s propulsion system at its technical center in King of Prussia, Pa., and will perform manufacturing and assembly at its marine center in Santa Fe Springs, California. 

The MRG solution will work within FMM’s propulsion and drivetrain system. MRGs are large components that transfer energy from a ship’s main power source to its propeller shafts, enabling the vessel to move at various speeds under changing conditions.

Philadelphia Gear designs and builds MRGs for a variety of active US Navy ship classes and supplied the MRGs for the previous frigate (FFG-7) class.

FMM’s contract with the US Navy includes options to build up to 10 FFG-62 class frigates. A few days ago, the navy placed an order for the third ship USS Chesapeake (FFG-64).

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If the navy opts to order all those ships, the firm could realize revenue of more than $150 million over the life of the contract, according to the company.

The future USS Congress (FFG-63) will be the US Navy’s seventh vessel to bear that name. The first USS Congress was one of the navy’s original six frigates built in the late 1700s.

The latest generation of ships will be 151 meters long with full-load displacement of 7,291 long tons. They will be able to reach 26 knots (30 mph) at full speed. The first of these new frigates, USS Constellation (FFG-62), is scheduled to enter service in 2026.