This Request for Proposals, published July 10 on the Federal Business Opportunities website, provides initial information on the FFG(X) future frigate program that the US Navy envisions as a replacement for its Littoral Combat Ships, which experience has shown are based on a failed concept.
The Navy desires to award a Detail Design and Construction contract in FY2020 for its next evolution of small surface combatant the future Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)). 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.
The Navy is interested in the FFG(X) to provide Combatant and Fleet Commanders a uniquely suitable asset to achieve select sea control objectives and perform maritime security operations while facilitating access in all domains in support of strike group and aggregated fleet operations. In terms of the Navy's Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) Concept, this FFG(X) small surface combatant will expand blue force sensor and weapon influence to provide increased information to the overall fleet tactical picture while challenging adversary ISR&T efforts.
The purpose of this type of ship is to (1) fully support Combatant and Fleet Commanders during conflict by supplementing the fleet's undersea and surface warfare capabilities, allow for independent operations in a contested environment, extend the fleet tactical grid, and host and control unmanned systems; and (2) relieve large surface combatants from stressing routine duties during operations other than war.
This platform will employ unmanned systems to penetrate and dwell in contested environments, operating at greater risk to gain sensor and weapons advantages over the adversary. The FFG(X) will be capable of establishing a local sensor network using passive onboard sensors, embarked aircraft and elevated/tethered systems and unmanned vehicles to gather information and then act as a gateway to the fleet tactical grid using resilient communications systems and networks.
During Phase 0 (Shape the Battlespace) operations, FFG(X) will operate independently to develop a Recognized Maritime Picture and Recognized Air Picture, perform presence missions, conduct security cooperation activities, support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) efforts; and conduct security assistance and security force assistance (SFA). This ship will reduce demand on high end cruisers and destroyers that currently conduct ASW, SUW, and Theater Security Cooperation missions; allowing for an increase of more capable assets to maintain a stabilizing presence in regions where tensions with nations that have highly capable naval forces may exist.
During Phase 1 (Deter Aggression) and Phase 2 (Seize the Initiative) operations, 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.
FFG(X) will perform its missions in complex electronic warfare and anti-ship missile threat environments, and, therefore, when available from other Navy efforts, will integrate hard-kill with advanced soft-kill systems at the combat systems level to enable the most effective offense and defense management of onboard weapons and decoy inventories.
FFG(X) missions during these phases include:
•·Complement the surface warfare (SuW) capabilities of a Carrier Strike Group and Expeditionary Strike Group with capacity in aggregated operations (e.g., as a pack) to deter or defeat aggression by adversary warships with over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles. Concepts of employment for this type of ship will include integrated operations with area air defense capable destroyers and cruisers as well as independent operations while connected and contributing to the fleet tactical grid. Additionally, this platform must defend against raids of small boats
•·Perform anti-submarine warfare (ASW) scout and patrol missions that complement the capabilities of Strike Group and theater operations with enhanced active and passive undersea sensing capabilities.
•·Support transoceanic logistics movements by serving as a force multiplier to area air defense capable destroyers. If equipped with weapons providing the required capability and capacity, the ship will independently escort logistics ships during transit through low and medium threat regions.
•·Provide robust electromagnetic sensing and targeting capabilities and contribute to force level electromagnetic spectrum control
•·Provide electromagnetic information exploitation capabilities and intelligence collection
The FFG(X) aviation capability will include secure and traverse systems for aircraft handling and incorporate the aircraft systems and sensors into an integrated combat system.
To achieve these missions, the Navy desires to use common Navy systems across the radar, combat system, C4ISR systems, and launcher elements. Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical systems commonality with other US Navy platforms is also encouraged. (end of excerpt)
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