The Navy awarded Fincantieri Marinette Marine a $637 million modification on June 16, exercising a contract option for the third
Constellation-class guided-missile frigate, the future USS Chesapeake (FFG-64).
The Navy previously awarded Fincantieri a $554 million modification for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of the second frigate, the future USS Congress (FFG-63), last year (Defense Daily, May 21,2021).
The service first awarded the company a $795 million contract for the design, construction and delivery of the first of 10 Constellation-class frigates, the future USS Constellation (FFG-62) in 2020 (Defense Daily, April 30, 2020).
At the time the Navy said the total contract cost, including modifications for all 10 initial frigates, would rise up to $5.6 billion.
A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report updated on May 11 noted Congress funded the first frigate in FY ‘20 at a cost of about $1.3 billion, the second in FY ‘21 at about $1.1 billion, and the third in FY ‘22 at about $1.1 billion. It noted the lead ship costs more than follow-on vessels because it will be at the top of the production curve and incorporates most of the detail design/non-recurring engineering costs for the class.
In 2021, a Navy official said the service estimated the first frigate will cost about $1.3 billion, divided into $795 million for the hull and $485 million for government furnished equipment (GFE) while follow-on vessels were expected to cost $800-900 million each in 2018 dollars (Defense Daily, Jan. 20, 2021).
This latest award specifically covers options for detail design and construction of the frigate along with integrated digital environment support.
Contract work will occur in Marinette, Wis. (51 percent); Camden, N.J. (17 percent); Chicago, Ill. (seven percent); and several other locations in the U.S. and is expected to be finished by August 2028.
The contract is funded via fiscal year 2022 Navy shipbuilding funds that will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of this fiscal year.
Separately, the Navy noted the FFG-62 program also recently successfully completed the Critical Design Review milestone in May and is now proceeding to the Production Readiness Review and start of production on FFG-62.
The first three new frigates are named in honor of the original heavy frigates the U.S. started to build in 1794.