A total of 12 Constellation-class frigates will be based out of Naval Station Everett, according to the Navy.
“The Navy’s Surface Force is the preeminent means available for our nation to protect its interests and sustain its prosperity around the globe,” the Navy said in a June 2 news release. “The Navy remains focused on building and deploying combat ready, battle-minded teams capable of carrying out their missions today and tomorrow, at home and abroad. Constellation-class frigates will help us do that and enable us to maintain our advantage at sea.”
The Navy announced in April 2020 that the service had chosen Fincantieri’s design for the next generation of frigates, and it will be built at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin. The vessel is designed to operate either on its own or with a strike group to provide capabilities including an Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, Mk 41 Vertical Launching System, and a Baseline 10 Aegis Combat System.
The vessel’s “lethality, survivability and improved capability will provide Fleet Commanders multiple options while supporting the National Defense Strategy across the full range of military operations,” the Navy said in a news release.
Then-Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite unveiled in October 2020 that the first vessel in the new guided-missile frigate class of ships would be called the Constellation.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said in January that it is critical for the frigates to be dependable, especially since the next class of destroyers will be modeled off the Constellation-class frigates.
The frigates are a critical test of the Navy’s return to building ships around existing technologies rather than designing them around technologies in development, which in some ways has proved a fiasco.
“I can’t afford for FFG(X) to be anything but coming off a world-class production line that produces a ship that we can count on,” Gilday said, according to a report in sister publication Defense News. “That will also inform how we’re going to design and build DDG Next. Those have to be world-class efforts that deliver on time, on budget, with the right capacity, with the right capabilities that we need.”
The start of construction on the new frigates is slated for 2022, with a delivery date scheduled for 2026.