The U.S. Navy has awarded contracts to five companies to exercise options for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) Conceptual Design, said in the statement by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on 30 July.
The U.S. Navy wants a frigate that can keep up with the aircraft carriers and have sensors networked in with the rest of the fleet to expand the overall tactical picture available to the group. “The FFG(X) will normally aggregate into strike groups and Large Surface Combatant led surface action groups but also possess the ability to robustly defend itself during conduct of independent operations while connected and contributing to the fleet tactical grid.”
The U.S. Navy in 2017 initiated a new program, called the FFG(X) program, to build a class of 20 multimission guided-missile frigates (FFGs).
According to the DoD, the Austal USA LLC has received a USD6.3 million contract; General Dynamics Bath Iron Works has received a USD7.9 million contract; Huntington Ingalls Inc. has received a USD7.9 million contract; Lockheed Martin Inc. has received a USD6.9 million contract; Marinette Marine Corp., doing business as Fincantieri Marinette Marine has received a USD7.9 million contract.
The Conceptual Design effort will inform the final specifications that will be used for the Detail Design and Construction Request for Proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X). The conceptual design phase will reduce cost, schedule, and performance risk for the follow-on Detail Design & Construction contract.
Work will is expected to be completed by June 2019.
The U.S. Navy intends to award the contract for the first FFG(X) in 2020. It will buy one in 2020 and one in 2021, followed by two each year after that, for a 20-ship class.
According to the Navy Recognition, FFG(X) is an agile, multi-mission platform designed for operation in littoral and blue water environments. Its missions are set to be Anti-Submarine Warfare, Surface Warfare, Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare, and Air Warfare. FFG(X) will operate independently or integrated with a Task Force to conduct offensive and defensive Surface, Anti-Submarine, and Air Warfare.