Serco has secured a contract to support the development of the US Navy’s next multi-mission small-surface combatant.

The company will help the navy’s Guided Missile Frigate FFG(X) Program Executive Office (PEO) for Unmanned and Small Combatants in designing and building the vessel.

The contract will see Serco advise the PEO on technical design issues.

Serco will be responsible for the development of system integration parameters and test requirements, as well as for maintaining cost estimates for the navy.

The firm will also establish the ship systems’ network architecture and cybersecurity.

The contract has a potential value of $43m. It includes a base period of one year and four one-year option periods.

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Serco Maritime, Engineering, Technology and Sustainment Business Unit senior vice-president Vince Stammetti said: “The FFG(X) programme is critical to the future force structure of our navy. We are humbled to be a part of this program and very much look forward to working with our customers to design and deliver this warship to our sailors.”

The company will provide cost estimating, network architecture and cybersecurity, system integration, as well as testing, engineering, design, and production.

Other tasks will include acquisition, programme management, lifecycle management, and design site support.

The programme will include modelling the new class of combatants in a 3D environment.

It will also involve the use of virtual technology in the design site to assist in evaluating the design and maintainability.

Serco chairman and CEO Dave Dacquino said: “I am excited about this contract win as this is what we envisioned for the Naval Systems business.

“Through the acquisition we gained industry-leading capabilities in naval ship and submarine design, engineering and construction services, which dovetails nicely with Serco’s existing strengths in shipboard, shore and systems installation and upgrade services to the navy.”

The navy issued the final request for proposals (RFP) for the FFG(X) multi-mission frigate programme in June this year. The RFP is for the first ten frigates, including one base ship and nine options.

The winner of the competition is expected to be announced in 2020.