Navy Frigate (FFG[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
(Source: Congressional Research Service; issued Aug 13, 2019)
The FFG(X) program is a Navy program to build a class of 20 guided-missile frigates (FFGs). 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 20thin 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.

The Navy intends to build the FFG(X) to a modified version of an existing ship design—an approach called the parent-design approach. The parent design could be a U.S. ship design or a foreign ship design. At least four industry teams are reportedly competing for the FFG(X) program. Two of the teams are reportedly proposing to build their FFG(X) designs at the two shipyards that have been building Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) for the Navy—Austal USA of Mobile, AL, and Fincantieri/Marinette Marine (F/MM) of Marinette, WI.

The other two teams are reportedly proposing to build their FFG(X) designs at General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works, of Bath, ME, and Huntington Ingalls Industries/Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, MS.

On May 28, 2019, it was reported that a fifth industry team that had been interested in the FFG(X) program had informed the Navy on May 23, 2019, that it had decided to not submit a bid for the program. This fifth industry team, like one of the other four, reportedly had proposed building its FFG(X) design at F/MM.

On June 20, 2019, the Navy released its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) contract for up to 10 ships in FFG(X) program(the lead ship plus nine option ships).Responses to the RFP are due by August 22, 2019.The Navy plans to award the contract in July 2020.


Click here for the full report (40 PDF pages), on the CRS website.

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