Next on the Navy's new Frigate, the US Navy will have more missiles and even laser weapons installed on the vessel. Aging ships of the US naval force need a refresh of its warships facing stiff competition from America's adversaries.
American naval vessels are the most modern globally, but America's fighting ships are in a great power struggle against several rising nations.
The US Navy's answer for smaller yet capable surface combatants (warships) is the Constellation-class guided-missile. These are smaller than destroyers but with multiple vertical launch tubes or VLS with 16 Naval, 32 tubes to fire 32 Tomahawks to destroy land or sea targets in range, cited Breaking Defense.
In 2026, the FFXG (future Frigate) will be ready for trials, and there will be two ships built a year. The US Navy orders a total of 20 boats. A change from big bruisers to smaller vessels that armed to the teeth. One other advantage is they will be less expensive than the current inventory.
According to CNO Mike Gilday, the Frigate will be different and with new design concepts and will be the base of future warships to come online after.
He said the FFGX program should produce the best fighting ship that can do anything built for and reliable. He told the press in an event he attended. Furthermore, the FFGX design will be the takeoff for the next generation destroyer or "DDG Next." All the design to roll off the shipyards for the American Navy will be cutting edge.
Navy acquisition chief James Geurts said that too much importance might be placed on the program is emphasized. He added the FFXG might not be enough in some scenarios coming soon.
Capt. Kevin Smith, the Navy's program manager for FFGX, said the frigate development is vital for the American warships building systems that will be expanded as future capabilities improve as improvements keep it relevant.
As a platform, the hull will not be limited, like the aging Arleigh-Burke class getting close to its limits. For future frigate adjustments for space, weight, power, and cooling on the hull are factored in. It will remain relevant to the naval service during its service life.
Future destroyers will not only rely on guided missiles, but the laser weapon is in planning. To be exact, the extra weight for future upgrades is 100 tons on the hull.
The shipbuilding firm "Fincantieri" got the Navy's go signal for the contract in April 2020 to build 10 FFGX in the US. Located at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, the ships will be made. Another ten ships contract will follow soon; the US Navy is keen on it.
By comparison, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are beefier and bigger, but the FFGX is armed well.
These ships will be 496 feet long, a draft of 18 feet, with a beam of 64.6 feet in hull size. It has a displacement of 7,291 long tons that is less than the types of Arleigh Burke's. A crew of 24 officers and 176 sailors will be on board.
This new Navy Frigate will cost the US Navy about $1.28 billion, at $800 million to $950 million apiece.