More
    HomeMilitaryChallenges In The Constellation-class Program: US Navy Faces Frigate Delivery Setbacks

    Challenges In The Constellation-class Program: US Navy Faces Frigate Delivery Setbacks

    Published on

    spot_img

    The first ship in the anticipated Constellation-class frigates for the U.S. Navy is now expected to join the fleet in 2029, three years later than initially planned, due to significant delays.

    This information emerged from a 45-day shipbuilding study ordered by the Secretary of the Navy, revealing that the lead boat of the Columbia class and the latest Virginia-class Block V submarines are similarly behind schedule.

    Vice Admiral James Downey, the Naval Sea Systems Command chief, disclosed that the Constellation-class frigate’s design is only 80% complete, citing changes in contracting roles and the critical need to finish the design.

    To address this, a collaborative center has been established to co-locate the design force from Fincantieri and their subcontractors with the government.

    The Constellation-class, borrowing elements from Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s FREMM frigate design, which is already in service with French and Italian navies, emphasizes the U.S. Navy’s decade-long preference for adaptable designs that can incorporate new technologies.

    In 2018, the Navy had contracted five shipbuilders to create design prototypes for the new frigates, and Fincantieri’s design emerged victorious in 2020, leading to a nearly $800 million contract.

    The new frigates promise impressive capabilities, equipped with the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, Baseline Ten AEGIS Combat System, an MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), and the Mk 110 57mm Gun Weapon System.

    These ships will have the ability to carry an array of missiles and advanced electronics, and will be just under 500 feet in length, capable of reaching a top speed of 26 knots with a crew of roughly 200.

    Highlighting the significance of software advancements, Lockheed Martin has delivered the first combat systems software package for the lead ship of the Constellation-class.

    The Aegis Weapon System Baseline 10 variant has been specially modified for the frigates, aiming to support various naval platforms and reduce costs through commonality in development and training.

    However, the shadow of the Navy’s littoral combat ship (LCS) program, which faced development issues and performance shortcomings, looms over the Constellation-class.

    In an effort to avoid repetition, the Navy has decided to test the new frigate class’ propulsion system on land, aiming to mitigate the risk of engine failure.

    Addressing the frigate construction delays at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine Wisconsin yard, Nickolas Guertin, assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition, admitted that closer oversight could have prevented some of the current issues.

    Naval Sea Systems Command has now stepped in, sending teams to work with the yard and its subcontractors, with design completion expected by late this year.

    At a Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee hearing, the service’s leaders outlined the need for an expanded skilled workforce and industry partnership to meet the challenges of the shipbuilding schedule. The Navy has encouraged the diversification of the shipbuilding workforce, including spreading manufacturing to inland states. Additionally, a national maritime statecraft strategy involving various governmental departments and shipbuilders has been proposed to bolster construction and repair capacity.

    Relevant articles:
    The Navy’s Constellation-Class Frigate Nightmare Is Just Very Real , National Intererst, 05/06/2024
    Senate Panel Questions Navy Submarine Build Rate, FY2025 Virgina, USNI News, 05/03/2024

    Latest articles

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...

    The B-21 Raider of the U.S. Air Force Prepares for Deployment Despite Production Hurdles and Hypersonic Competition

    The B-21 Raider, the United States Air Force's new stealth bomber, is edging closer...

    More like this

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...