First Constellation Frigate Will Start Fabrication This Year as Shipyard Expands

The first hull in a new Navy ship class in more than a decade is set to start construction later this year, the service’s program manager said this week.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine plans to start fabrication of the future USS Constellation (FFG-62) in late summer or early fall following the completion of the final design review of the plans for the ship, Capt. Kevin Smith, who oversees the program for the Navy, said on Tuesday. The ship is estimated to be completed in Fiscal Year 2026.

“After we awarded the contract in April, we got going on functional design, the detailed design, with Fincantieri, Smith said.
“We had an initial delivery of the build specifications that were worked in during the conceptual design phase. Those are still being refined as we get ready for a critical design review later this fall.”

The Navy has stressed the multi-mission character of the new class rather than the modular mission package system of the Littoral Combat Ship. Estimated to displace about 7,300 tons fully loaded, the Connies will feature a derivative of the AN/SPY-6 radar being installed on the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, a 32-cell vertical launch system, Aegis Baseline 10 combat system and 16 anti-ship Naval Strike Missiles, with a crew of about 200.

The design of the new frigate is based on the FREMM multi-mission frigate in use with the French and Italian navies. Even with using the FREMM as a parent design, the Navy and designers Gibbs & Cox are making extensive revisions to accommodate not only American survivability standards, but also the margins the ship will need to accommodate new weapons and sensors over the life of the hull.

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