Navantia and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works have signed a contract to cooperate with the US Navy’s FFG(X) Guided Missile Frigate.

The partnership between Bath Iron Works, the designer and builder of some of the most advanced warships in the world, and Navantia, the world’s premier frigate designer, will provide the most capable and affordable light surface combatant for the US Navy.

Navantia S.A chair José Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez said: “We are excited to collaborate with Bath Iron Works on the FFG(X) programme.

“Our partnership began in the 1980s when we worked together to bring the Oliver Hazard Perry/Santa María FFG design to Spain, establishing a modern Spanish naval shipbuilding industry.”

“It is a great honour for Navantia to be able to work with Bath Iron Works again, offering our design capabilities to the United States.”

BIW president Dirk Lesko said: “Bath Iron Works evaluated many US and foreign designs suited to the FFG(X) requirements and found that the family of frigates designed and built by Navantia is an ideal match.

“We look forward to continuing the productive relationship we have had with Navantia for nearly 40 years.”

Navantia’s brings expertise in frigate design and a successful track record of global exports. In order to ensure the programme runs to cost and schedule, the US Navy requires designs that are based on a parent design already in service.

The teaming agreement will see Navantia and Bath Iron Works collaborate on designs evolved from Navantia’s family of AEGIS Frigates, which include the Norwegian F-310 and the Spanish F-100. The latest of this family of vessels, HMAS Hobart, was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in September 2017.

The FFG(X) project will provide Combatant and Fleet Commanders with a uniquely suitable asset to achieve select sea control objectives and perform maritime security operations while facilitating access in all domains in support of strike group and aggregated fleet operations.

With an initial procurement plan of 20 units, the Detail Design and Construction award is planned to be in 2020.