The Navy awarded a contract to design and produce the next generation small surface combatant, the guided-missile frigate (FFG(X)), April 30.
The contract, which could eventually total up to $5.5 billion, is for detail design and construction of 10 frigates, awarded to Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corporation of Marinette, Wisconsin.
President Donald J. Trump delivered remarks there yesterday to the shipyard workers.
He noted that since World War II, the shipyard workers have turned out "some 1,500 of the finest and most fearsome vessels ever to sail. You've kept our sailors safe and our Navy strong. Every single day you prove that American workers are the best in the world."
The frigate will be particularly notable for its great maneuverability, he said.
Other characteristics of the vessel, he mentioned:
-- Each frigate will boast a 32 Mk 41 vertical-launch missile cells;
-- The ship will field advanced air research and air search radar capability; and
-- The frigates will carry MH-60 Seahawk helicopters and unmanned MQ-8C Fire Scout drones.
One of the ship workers, Tyler Cahill, was called upon to speak by the president. Trump mentioned that Cahill served for nine years in the Navy, then returned here, to his hometown, to become a quality technical coordinator. He added that Cahill also "helps recruit young, talented people" to work in the shipyard.
Cahill said he attained the rank of petty officer second class in the Seabees and also served in Afghanistan.
"When I first moved back to Marinette and started here as a welder in 2012, I would've never imagined how far my career and community would grow. The shipyard is a lifeline to the community and a driving force behind its economic growth."
The FFG(X) was designed to succeed the littoral, or nearshore, combat ships, which were also built by Marinette Marine.
Besides the frigate's capabilities mentioned by Trump, the frigate will also be fitted with:
-- The Aegis Baseline 10 combat system;
-- The new Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar;
-- Up to 16 over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles; and
-- A variable-depth sonar.