The US Department of Defense hsa awarded Fincantieri's US subsidiary Marinette Marine (FMM) a nearly $800 million contract for the concept design and construction of the first-in-class guided missile frigate of the “FFG(X)” program for the US Navy.
The contract envisages an option for 9 additional ships, as well as post-delivery availability support and crew training, with the cumulative value amounting to $5.5 billion.
The US Navy plans to build 10 additional vessels as part of the future frigate program, for a total of 20. It is the first new major shipbuilding program the service has started in more than a decade.
The company's proposal is based on the FREMM frigate platform.
"We began this journey two years ago with the belief that there was a place for new ideas, new platforms and new partners in an already talented US shipbuilding industry," CEO Dario Deste said. "[This] announcement from the Navy on FFG(X) validates that thinking."
The Marinette shipyard in Wisconsin also builds the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) program, and will also build four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants (MMSC), an frigate version of the LCS, for Saudi Arabia as part of the US Foreign Military Sales program.
Fincantieri saw out competition from Austal, Lockheed Martin, Huntington Ingalls and GD Bath Iron Works.
“I am very proud of the hard work from the requirements, acquisition, and shipbuilder teams that participated in the full and open competition, enabling the Navy to make this important decision,” James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said. “Throughout this process, the government team and our industry partners have all executed with a sense of urgency and discipline, delivering this contract award three months ahead of schedule."
The first two ships are planned for delivery in 2026.