The US Navy to order next-generation frigate FFG (X)

WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly told conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt that he had tasked Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts to look at accelerating the award of the first ship, which was slated for this fall.

The competition has narrowed to bids from Huntington Ingalls Industries; a team of Navantia and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works; Fincantieri; and Austal USA.

Navantia is offering a version of its F-100 design, which is in use by the Spanish Navy; Austal is submitting a version of its trimaran littoral combat ship; Fincantieri is offering its FREMM design; and Huntington Ingalls is believed to be offering an up-gunned version of its national security cutter.

The proposed FFG(X) will be equipped with a modified version of Raytheon’s SPY-6 radar destined for the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Combat System, as well as some point defense systems and 32 vertical launch cells for about half the cost of a destroyer.

The first ship ordered in 2020 is expected to cost $1.28 billion, according to budget documents, with the next ship in 2021 dropping to $1.05 billion.

The US Navy expects it to take six years to complete design and construction of the first ship, which should be finished in July 2026. Once construction begins, planners anticipate the first ship will take 48 months to build and and the second ship is about three months later.

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