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Keel laid for Constellation-class guided-missile frigate lead ship

The keel was laid for guided-missile frigate Constellation , the lead ship for the new class of surface ships. (US Navy)

The keel for the guided-missile frigate Constellation (FFG 62), the lead ship of the new Constellation-class of ships, was laid on 12 April, the US Navy (USN) confirmed.

Speaking at the keel-laying ceremony on the same day, USN Secretary Carlo Del Toro noted the need to augment the fleet with ships like FFGs, especially with recent events in the Red Sea.

“ Constellation and the Constellation-class frigates are a critical next step in the modernisation of our surface ship inventory, increasing the number of players on the field available globally for our fleet and combatant commanders,” Del Toro said during his speech, according to the USN.

“As recent events in the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific have shown, our ships, submarines, aircraft, sailors, and marines are in high demand by our national decision makers,” he said.

Testifying on 10 April before the House Appropriations Committee (HAC), Del Toro noted some of the fleet-relative technological enhancements being advanced in the frigate programme.

“Our initiative on surface ship cyber defence is crucial to executing complex missions in contested environments,” he testified.

“We have a world-class team performing this study that will benefit the fleet,” he said. “As part of this initiative, we have integrated cyber security and defence requirements into the new Constellation-class frigate as a critical attribute at the onset of the programme. The programme has scheduled early integration testing events at available land-based test sites. We intend for these test events to assess network cyber-security controls and reduce shipboard integration risks for government and contractor-furnished equipment.”

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