The look at other hulls – potentially foreign designs – could bring in additional competition beyond the two yards. While the U.S. has not focused on traditional small naval ship designs, Western European shipbuilders have designed several guided-missile frigates that could partner with U.S. companies for a new frigate bid.I really should never have to buy a beer in the Beltway ever again.
The new study and the expansion of the hulls under consideration call into question when the service will release the final Request for Proposal for the final frigate design, which was due sometime this year.
“While the design for the frigate matures, the Navy remains firmly committed to execution of the current LCS program of record, in order to maintain the viability of both shipyards, maximize competition for future ship contracts and deliver critically needed capability to the fleet as quickly as possible,” read the statement from the service.
The following was the complete statement from the Navy on the ongoing frigate study provided to USNI News.
As a result of the Navy’s 2016 Force Structure Assessment, increased emphasis on Distributed Maritime Operations, and increasingly complex threats in the global maritime environment, the Navy continues to assess the capabilities required to ensure the Frigate outpaces future threats. Therefore, the Navy is pursuing an update to the analysis performed by the 2014 Small Surface Combatant Task Force (SSCTF) to reassess Frigate requirements and capabilities. The Navy Frigate Requirements Evaluation Team (FFG RET) will update the SSCTF analyses to investigate the feasibility of incorporating additional capabilities such as Local Air Defense and enhanced survivability features into the current LCS designs, as well as explore other existing hull forms. The result of this update will inform PB18 deliberations, and will be briefed to OSD leadership and the Congressional committees once completed later this spring. Our goal is to get the best capability possible in our future Frigate, at an affordable price, and with a mature design that will ensure a relevant platform for decades to come.
While the design for the Frigate matures, the Navy remains firmly committed to execution of the current LCS program of record, in order to maintain the viability of both shipyards, maximize competition for future ship contracts, and deliver critically needed capability to the Fleet as quickly as possible.
Just have an open tab at Kelly's Irish Times and we'll call it even.