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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.[4] The FFG(X) was announced in a United States Department of Defense Request For Information (RFI) on 10 July 2017.[2][5] 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.[6]

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



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.[4]: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 US 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]

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]


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.[4]:5 The U.S. Navy wants the follow-on ships in the FFG(X) program (i.e., ships 2 through 20) to have an average unit procurement cost of not more than $950 million each (in constant 2018 dollars).[7][4]:7


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).[6] These shipbuilders were Austal USA, Fincantieri Marine Group, General Dynamics, Huntington Ingalls Industries, and Lockheed Martin.[6] Atlas North America submitted the MEKO A-200 but was not selected for a conceptual design contract.[1][6] 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.[6]

FFG(X) contenders[1][6]
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
Lockheed Martin Marinette Marine Freedom-variant Frigate based on the Freedom-class littoral combat ship


  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. ^ Katz, Justin (5 December 2017). "Navy has not set VLS cell number for FFG(X)". Inside Defense. Inside Washington Publishers. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d O'Rourke, Ronald (8 December 2017). "Navy Frigate (FFG[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 17 February 2018. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ LaGrone, Sam (9 January 2018). "NAVSEA: New Navy Frigate Could Cost $950M Per Hull". USNI News. U.S. Naval Institute. Retrieved 17 February 2018. 
  8. ^ "Contracts" (Press release). U.S. Department of Defense. 16 February 2018. CR-032-18. Retrieved 17 February 2018. …six offers received. 

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

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