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USN confirms order for second FFG-62 class guided missile frigate

The US Navy has confirmed the order for the second of its new FFG-62 Constellation-class guided missile frigates.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine was awarded a USD553.9 million option by the Naval Sea Systems Command on 20 May for detail design and construction of the future USS Congress (FFG-63), together with integrated digital environment support. The ship will be built at the company's shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.

An adaptation of the Carlo Bergamini-class FREMM frigate platform in service with the Italian Navy, the FFG-62 Constellation-class frigate is intended to meet the USN's requirement for a new class of multimission small surface combatant to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and electronic warfare (EW) and information operations. The service plans to procure a class of 20 ships.

Ahead of starting production of the lead ship, Fincantieri Marine Group is investing around USD200 million in infrastructure upgrades at its Marinette and Bay shipyard facilities to support the FFG-62 programme. Upgrades at Marinette include a new climate-controlled erection and outfitting facility to allow for the side-by-side construction of two Constellation-class ships, a new syncrolift system, and improvements to the blast and paint shop, the automated panel line, and the subassembly building.

Construction work on several new buildings at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Marinette's sister shipyard, began in 2020. The Bay shipyard will be responsible for steel processing and fabrication of large hull sections for the Constellation-class ships.

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