US Navy exercises option for third Constellation-class vessel FFG 64

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The U.S. Navy exercised the second possibility of contract for the third ship, USS Chesapeake (FFG 64), as part of the Constellation-class guided-missile frigate (FFG 62) program.

The FFG 64 frigate is the third Constellation-class ship built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM).

The latest announcement follows the completion of a critical design review in May.

The program will now move into the production readiness review stage, after which production of the Constellation-class lead ship, USS Constellation (FFG 62), will begin.

FMM has been awarded the contract for the design, construction and delivery of the first ten FFG 62 class frigates in April 2020.

Once built, the new Constellation-class frigates will serve as heavy-duty multi-mission platforms.

Constellation-class ships can perform anti-submarine warfare (ASW), electronic warfare, air warfare, surface warfare and information warfare missions.

FFG 62 frigates can operate both independently and as part of the carrier/expeditionary strike group or surface action group. It is designed and armed to conduct composite warfare and joint US Navy maritime missions.

The frigates will be equipped with Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR), Base Ten (BL10) AEGIS Combat System and communications systems.

The ships also feature a Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) and have additional electronic warfare/information operations (EW/IO) capability, and come with design flexibility for a future growth.

In October last year, BAE Systems received a contract from the US Naval Sea Systems Command Integrated Warfare Systems 3C (NAVSEA IWS) to supply 57mm MK 110 gun systems (GWS) for ships of the Constellation class.

The United States Navy named the first FFG 62 ship as USS Constellation in October 2020 while the second FFG 63 frigate was named USS Congress in December 2020.

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