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FFG(X) is the notional designation of a class of multimission guided-missile frigates for the United States Navy, to be contracted from 2020, as a follow-on to the modular littoral combat ship.[3] The FFG(X) was announced in a United States Department of Defense Request For Information (RFI) on 10 July 2017.[2][4] The U.S. Navy has selected five shipbuilders to evolve their designs into a prospective design for the proposed twenty FFG(X) guided-missile frigates.[5]

Class overview
Name: FFG(X)
Operators:  United States Navy (projected)
Preceded by:
Planned: 20
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile frigate
Boats & landing
craft carried:
2x Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boats
Sensors and
processing systems:
Armament:
Aircraft carried:

DesignEdit

The U.S. Navy’s intention to buy the first FFG(X) in 2020 does not allow enough time to develop a completely new design for the FFG(X). Consequently, the Navy intends for the design of the FFG(X) to be a modified version of an existing "parent" ship design.[3]:8 The RFI says, "A competition for FFG(X) is envisioned to consider existing parent designs for a Small Surface Combatant that can be modified to accommodate the specific capability requirements prescribed by the U.S. Navy."[2]

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.”[2]

In January 2019 the U.S. Navy announced that the new frigate will have a minimum of 32 Mark 41 Vertical Launch System cells aboard the ship for primarily anti-air warfare for self defense or escort missions.[6]

The U.S. Navy would like for the ship to be able to:

  • Destroy surface ships over the horizon,
  • Detect enemy submarines,
  • Defend convoy ships,
  • Employ active and passive electronic warfare systems,
  • Defend against swarming small boat attacks.[2]

DevelopmentEdit

The Navy wants to procure the first FFG(X) in FY2020, the next 18 at a rate of two per year in FY2021-FY2029, and the 20th in FY2030. The Navy’s proposed FY2020 budget requests $1,281.2 million for the procurement of the first FFG(X). The Navy’s FY2020 budget submission shows that subsequent ships in the class are estimated by the Navy to cost roughly $900 million each in then-year dollars.[7]

ContendersEdit

Six shipbuilders submitted proposals for conceptual designs to the U.S. Navy FFG(X) Frigate program.[1][8] On 16 February 2018 the U.S. Navy announced that from these proposals they had selected five shipbuilders and awarded them each $15 million contracts to produce conceptual designs for the FFG(X).[5] These shipbuilders were Austal USA, Fincantieri Marine Group, General Dynamics, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Lockheed Martin.[5] Atlas North America submitted the MEKO A-200 but was not selected for a conceptual design contract.[1][5] Ship designs from these five shipbuilders will be evaluated by the U.S. Navy and inform the final specifications that will be used for the FFG(X) request for proposal in 2019 and a contract award in 2020.[5]

On May 28, 2019, Lockheed Martin withdrew from the competition.[9]

FFG(X) contenders[1][5][9]
Prime Contractor Shipyard Design
Austal USA Austal USA Austal Frigate based on the Independence-class littoral combat ship
Fincantieri Marine Group Marinette Marine Fincantieri FREMM multipurpose frigate
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Navantia Álvaro de Bazán-class F100 frigate
Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding Patrol Frigate based on the National Security Cutter

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Vavasseur, Xavier, ed. (18 January 2018). "SNA 2018: Contenders for the U.S. Navy FFG(X) Frigate Program". Navy Recognition. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Larter, David B. (10 July 2017). "Frigate competition wide open: Navy specs reveal major design shift". Defense News. Sightline Media Group. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b O'Rourke, Ronald (8 December 2017). "Navy Frigate (FFG[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  4. ^ Eckstein, Megan (10 July 2017). "Navy Releases Details of New FFG(X) Guided-Missile Frigate Program in Request to Industry". USNI News. U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f LaGrone, Sam; Eckstein, Megan (16 February 2018). "Navy Picks Five Contenders for Next Generation Frigate FFG(X) Program". USNI News. U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Navy Squeezing Costs Out of FFG(X) Program as Requirements Solidify". USNI News. 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  7. ^ "Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Frigate FFG(X) Program". USNI News. 2019-10-18. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  8. ^ "Contracts" (Press release). U.S. Department of Defense. 16 February 2018. CR-032-18. Retrieved 17 February 2018. …six offers received.
  9. ^ a b "Lockheed Martin Won't Submit Freedom LCS Design for FFG(X) Contest". USNI News. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.

  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Government.

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