Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) has secured the contract to build the second Constellation-class guided-missile frigate for the US Naval Forces.

The US Navy exercised a nearly $555m contract option to place the order with Fincantieri’s US-based subsidiary.

The second Constellation-class frigate, which is named USS Congress (FFG 63), will be built at FMM’s shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.

It will be equipped with Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) radar, Baseline Ten (BL10) AEGIS Combat System, a Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), communications systems and MK 110 57mm Gun Weapon System (GWS) among others.

The vessel will be capable of conducting air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare, and other operations.

Constellation Class Frigate (PMS 515) major programme manager captain Kevin Smith said: “The Navy Program Office is pleased to award the option for the USS Congress (FFG 63) to our industry partner Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

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“As the second ship of the Constellation Class Frigate Program, the USS Congress will provide a highly capable, next-generation surface combatant that our navy and nation needs.”

The order comes at a time when FMM is working on the detailed design phase for building USS Constellation (FFG 62), the lead ship of its class.

Construction work is expected to begin at the end of this year with the delivery slated for 2026.

The Constellation-class frigates will form an important part of the US Navy’s future fleet.

FMM was contracted last year to build the first-in-class frigate along with the option to build nine more vessels. The scope of works will also include post-delivery availability support and crew training.

If all options are exercised, the cumulative value of the contract will amount to $5.5bn for Fincantieri.