The U.S. Department of Defense has announced a $526 million contract for a fourth Constellation-class frigate for the U.S. Navy at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.
Fincantieri received the contract for the first Constellation-class frigate, the future USS Constellation, back in April 2020 at an initial cost $795 million. Construction began in August 2022 and the launch is expected in 2026.
The contract included options for up to nine additional vessels, which could bring the total contact value to $5.5 billion. So far the Navy has exercised three of the options for more vessels.
“We at Fincantieri Marine Group are proud to lead the Constellation program, and along with our partners and suppliers, we remain committed to building tomorrow’s Navy,” said Marco Galbiati, CEO of FMG.
The Constellation-class frigates are designed as a small surface combatant with multi-mission capability including air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations. All of the frigates will be built at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Former U.S. Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite named the class Constellation back in 2020 in honor of the first U.S. Navy ships authorized by Congress in 1794. The lead ship will be the fifth Navy ship to bear the name Constellation.
Fincantieri initially constructed ships for the Italian Navy, but has grown to become one of the world’s most diversified shipbuilding groups with 21,000 employees in 18 shipyards on four continents. The company operates in the U.S. through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group, with its three shipyards—Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Fincantieri ACE Marin—all located in Wisconsin on the Great Lakes.