The US Navy has invited companies to bid for the detail design and construction (DD&C) contract of the next-generation guided-missile frigates FFG(X).
The request for proposals (RFP) is for the first ten frigates under the programme, including one base ship and nine options.
Following an open competition, the navy will announce a winner and award a contract for FFG(X) DD&C in the fiscal year 2020. The proposed contract is consistent with the US National Defense Strategy.
The service will use the multi-mission FFG(X) frigates to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare and information operations.
Interested bidders are required to propose an FFG(X) design based on a parent ship design ‘that has been through production and demonstrated in full scale at sea’.
To be constructed in a domestic shipyard, the FFG(X) ships will operate in blue water and littoral environments.
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The final solicitation comes after the navy issued a draft FFG(X) DD&C RFP and hosted an Industry Day event in March. The Industry Day helped the department collect feedback on the draft RFP.
The US Navy plans to procure a total of 20 FFG(X) frigates. A second contract for the construction of the next ten ships is anticipated to be awarded closer to 2025.
Companies selected for the initial contract include Austal, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and Lockheed Martin.
The navy awarded contracts to these firms to prepare a conceptual design for the FFG(X) programme.
Last month, Lockheed Martin announced that it would no longer participate in the competition for the FFG(X) DD&C contract.