Fincantieri Begins Work on US Navy’s First Constellation-Class Frigate

American shipbuilding firm Fincantieri Marinette Marine announced Wednesday that it has begun construction of the US Navy’s first Constellation-class guided missile frigate.

A steel cutting ceremony was held at the company’s shipyard in northeast Wisconsin, with members of the US Navy and community leaders in attendance.

The contract to design and build the frigate was awarded two years ago, but Fincantieri had to upgrade its facilities before beginning construction.

Rear Adm. Casey Moton, the program executive officer overseeing the program, said that Fincantieri and its team have completed the detailed design of ship systems, placed material suppliers under contract, and created a three-dimensional model for production.

The company also completed a critical design review in May and a production readiness review in July.

“We continue to work extensively with the Navy’s program office to complete the first ship design to give the Navy the ship they want,” Fincantieri Chief Executive Officer Mark Vandroff said.

The US Navy’s Constellation-class lead ship is scheduled for delivery in 2026.

‘Delivering Two Frigates a Year’

Fincantieri Marinette Marine is currently under contract to build the US Navy’s Constellation, Chesapeake, and Congress frigates.

It will construct the first 10 of 20 Constellation-class ships the navy plans to acquire to bolster its maritime capabilities.

The company could be tapped to build the other 10 frigates, but the navy may choose another shipyard for the follow-on contract.

According to Fincantieri official Marco Galbiati, the Wisconsin-based shipbuilding firm has invested more than $300 million to modernize its shipyard and accommodate more orders from the US Navy.

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He added that with new facilities and industry-leading best practices, “we stand ready to deliver the two frigates a year the Navy requires.”