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Thread: New Navy FFG(X) RFI released

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebard View Post
    battle force
    Sounds like something from a Michael Bay movie, tbh...

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebard View Post
    Excerpt from the CRS report 'Navy Frigate (FFG[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress Updated December 20, 2019'

    At the end of FY2018, the Navy’s force of SSCs totaled 27 battle force ships, including 0 frigates,
    16 LCSs, and 11 mine warfare ships. Under the Navy’s FY2020 30-year (FY2020-FY2049)
    shipbuilding plan, the SSC force is to grow to 52 ships (34 LCSs and 18 FFG[X]s) in FY2034,
    reach a peak of 62 ships (30 LCSs, 20 FFG[X]s, and 12 SSCs of a future design) in FY2040, and
    then decline to 50 ships (20 FFG[X]s and 30 SSCs of a future design) in FY2049.

    So I guess it's a moving target right now. The inital plan was for 20 FFG[x] to supplement a force of 32 LCS. With 4 fewer LCS, somebody has to fill that gap.
    I'm wondering if the "SSC of a future design" will end up being FFG(X) Flight II.

  3. #108
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    FREMM won

    Fincantieri Wins $795M Contract for Navy Frigate Program

    By: Megan Eckstein
    April 30, 2020 5:09 PM

    Fincantieri FFG(X) Design based on the FREMM. Fincantieri Image

    The Navy awarded a $795-million contract to Fincantieri to begin building a new class of guided-missile frigates, in the first new major shipbuilding program the service has started in more than a decade, the Navy announced today.

    Fincantieri beat out what was originally four other competitors, who were asked by the Navy to take a mature parent design and evolve it to meet the Navy’s needs for potential high-end warfare. Fincantieri, which will build its frigate at its Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, based its FFG(X) design on the FREMM multi-mission frigate already operated by the French and Italian navies.

    The detail design and construction contract covers one ship in the current Fiscal Year 2020 and options for as many as nine more ships, for a total value of $5.58 billion if all options are exercised.

    “The Navy’s Guided-Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) will be an important part of our future fleet,” Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday said in a Navy statement.
    “FFG(X) is the evolution of the Navy’s Small Surface Combatant with increased lethality, survivability, and improved capability to support the National Defense Strategy across the full range of military operations. It will no doubt help us conduct distributed maritime operations more effectively, and improve our ability to fight both in contested blue-water and littoral environments.”

    “I am very proud of the hard work from the requirements, acquisition, and shipbuilder teams that participated in the full and open competition, enabling the Navy to make this important decision today,” James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said in the statement.
    “Throughout this process, the government team and our industry partners have all executed with a sense of urgency and discipline, delivering this contract award three months ahead of schedule. The team’s intense focus on cost, acquisition, and technical rigor, enabled the government to deliver the best value for our taxpayers as we deliver a highly capable next generation frigate to our warfighters.”

    The Navy has spoken about its frigate program as the model of how it would like to approach ship acquisition in the future. By bringing together a FFG Requirements Evaluation Team (RET) that included the acquisition community, resource sponsors, the budget community, fleet representatives, technologists in and out of government and both shipbuilders and others in industry, the Navy was able to figure out early on how it might balance capability with cost. The service has said this approach shaved six years off the program, compared to what it might have looked like under more traditional approaches.

    Navy leadership in 2017 determined that a new frigate program was needed beyond what could be modified on the Littoral Combat Ship program, which had been the sole small combatant in future fleet plans. The frigate would be more lethal and survivable than an LCS, they said, and the service stood up the FFG RET. Based on the RET’s work, the service approved top-level requirements in October 2017 and kicked off a conceptual design phase that spanned 16 months and included five industry teams. With confidence that industry would be able to meet the requirements, the Navy then validated its capability development document in February 2019, and the request for proposals for the detail design and construction contract was released in June.

    The Navy also sped up the process and reduced risk to the program by relying heavily on government-furnished equipment, ensuring the frigate would use existing systems already fielded on other surface combatants in the fleet. These systems include an Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR), Baseline 10 Aegis Combat System, Mk 41 Vertical Launch System, and other communications and defensive systems with hot production lines and proven performance in the fleet. This not only speeds up the frigate design and construction effort but also has benefits for the cost of procuring these as GFE, maintaining a common inventory of spare parts and training sailors to operate the same system across multiple ship classes.

    Going forward, the detail design phase will begin immediately, and construction will begin no later than April 2022. The first ship of the class – still yet to be named, despite an effort by outgoing Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly to name the frigates the Agility class – will deliver by April 2026 and reach initial operational capability by September 2030. The lead ship will cost $1.281 billion, with $795 million of that covering the shipbuilder’s detail design and construction costs and the rest covering the GFE, including the combat systems, radar, launchers, command and control systems, decoys and more.

    For the rest of the class, the total ship cost – contractor costs and GFE – has dropped. The Navy previously said it was aiming for an average cost of ships 2 through 20 of $800 million in constant year 2018 dollars, with a requirement to stay below $950 million in CY 2018 dollars. Now the service has the average follow-on cost pegged at $781 million.

    In selecting between the four remaining competitors – Fincantieri and its FREMM design; Austal USA, which builds the Independence-class LCSs; General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and Navantia, who builds the F100-class frigates for the Spanish Navy; Huntington Ingalls Industries, who has not revealed details of its bid – the Navy was balancing cost with non-cost factors to get to a best value. Design and design maturity were weighted equal to performance and the ability of the ship to meet the Navy’s warfighting needs as outlined in the National Defense Strategy and other documents. Schedule, production approach and facilities were weighted lower, with data rights being the lowest-weighted non-cost factor. The Navy was not looking for a straight price shoot-out but instead wanted the companies to compete for the best capability for the best value. Lockheed Martin, who builds the Freedom-variant LCS at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Wisconsin, had been part of the group of five in the conceptual design phase but dropped out of the competition.

    https://news.usni.org/2020/04/30/fin...rigate-program

  4. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisV71 View Post
    FREMM won
    Damn...I was really hoping the Álvaro de Bazán derivative would take it.

    Oh well, at least it's not an Independence-class variant.

    Guess there's champagne being uncorked in Marinette today.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  5. #110
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    Now cut some steel!

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Damn...I was really hoping the Álvaro de Bazán derivative would take it.

    Oh well, at least it's not an Independence-class variant.

    Guess there's champagne being uncorked in Marinette today.
    The Alvaro de Bazan class would have also been a good pick. The important thing though is that a good design was chosen, ahead of schedule, and hopefully will enter production soon. The USN has been hard up for some good news recently and now they have some.

  7. #112
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    Do any of you I know whether the VLS cells in the new Frigate will be strike length? I’m not running into much luck locating a good source on that and was wondering.

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    So if they are pushing forwarded with the new Frigate and decommissioning the first 4 LCS early I take it the Navy has decided to that the LCS program is washout and will be consigned to the dustbin of history, never to be spoken of again asap?
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisV71 View Post
    FREMM won...
    ...total ship cost – contractor costs and GFE – has dropped. The Navy previously said it was aiming for an average cost of ships 2 through 20 of $800 million in constant year 2018 dollars, with a requirement to stay below $950 million in CY 2018 dollars. Now the service has the average follow-on cost pegged at $781 million.
    For that comparatively little money they are getting an advanced hybrid propulsion system utilizing combined diesel electric and gas turbine (CODLAG) and controllable pitch screws. I wasn't sure if Fincantieri was going to simplify and cheapen the propulsion system to be more competitive on costs, but that does not seem to be the case, rather they seem to have included the high end system used in the Italian FREMM.

    https://fincantierimarinegroup.com/products/navy/ffgx/

    Also impressive is that FFGX-FREMM is getting the Aegis 10 combat system which will be utilized on DDG-125, first of the flight-III A-Bs, and not the half-arsed poorly supported systems used on some other platforms.
    .
    .
    .

  10. #115
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    Anyone know if it is getting a 5 inch gun or will it be that dinky 57mm gun?
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Anyone know if it is getting a 5 inch gun or will it be that dinky 57mm gun?
    Pretty sure its the 57mm.

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Damn...I was really hoping the Álvaro de Bazán derivative would take it.
    Quote Originally Posted by HKDan View Post
    The Alvaro de Bazan class would have also been a good pick.
    Looking at the specs of the FREMM vs the Bath Iron Works / Navantia design. Very similar. I wonder if the enclosed boat launching facilities of the FREMM was a major differentiator?

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKDan View Post
    Pretty sure its the 57mm.
    I am making raspberry noises.....
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by JA Boomer View Post
    Looking at the specs of the FREMM vs the Bath Iron Works / Navantia design. Very similar. I wonder if the enclosed boat launching facilities of the FREMM was a major differentiator?
    There is some speculation that the sinking of the Norwegian Helge Ingstad, which was a Navantia build(and as a F100 variant, sharing some commonality with the proposed FFG(X) design they put forward) led to concerns about possible design flaws.

    https://www.elnacional.cat/en/news/n...30258_102.html
    Last edited by HKDan; 06 May 20, at 02:04.

  15. #120
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    This is good news.

    Navy Receives No Protests Over FFG(X) Frigate Award to Fincantieri; Detail Design Process Begins
    By: Megan Eckstein
    June 3, 2020 12:05 PM • Updated: June 3, 2020 9:24 PM

    Fincantieri FFG(X) Design based on the FREMM. Fincantieri Image

    This post has been updated to include comments from industry.

    No protests have been filed over the Navy’s decision to award Fincantieri a detail design and construction contract for the FFG(X) program, clearing the way for work to begin, the Navy confirmed to USNI News.

    Under contracting rules, bidders have a certain amount of time to protest the decision to the Government Accountability Office if they feel the contracting office made the wrong decision in evaluating bids against the stated requirements. That protest window ended Monday, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) spokesman Alan Baribeau told USNI News, and none of the three losing bidders protested the decision.

    “The GAO protest period for the FFG(X) contract award has passed and the Navy has not received notice of protest. The Navy is moving forward with execution of the contract, and has completed the Post-Award Conference. Detail design of the FFG(X) is commencing,” he said.

    Austal USA submitted a bid based on its Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works submitted a bid with parter Navantia based on the Spanish F100 frigate. Huntington Ingalls Industries submitted a bid but has not disclosed what mature parent design it is based on.

    For a stretch of time – particularly while the military services were limited in spending by the Budget Control Act and sequestration – it was almost assumed that any major acquisition program would be held up by protests. If even one company protests, the winning bidder cannot start work on the program until GAO adjudicates the matter.

    According to a GAO report from November 2019, in Fiscal Year 2019 GAO received 2,071 protests, as well as 60 cost claims and 67 requests for reconsideration. Of those protests that were deemed to have merit and were considered by GAO, just 13 percent were sustained and the original decision changed.

    “Our review shows that the most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests during the 2019 fiscal year were: (1) unreasonable technical evaluation; (2) inadequate documentation of the record; (3) flawed selection decision; (4) unequal treatment; and (5) unreasonable cost or price evaluation,” reads the report.

    The number of overall cases has gone down compared to just a few years ago, according to the report. The 2,198 total cases in FY 2019 compares to 2,607 in FY 2018, 2,596 in FY 2017, 2,789 in FY 2016 and 2,639 in FY 2015.

    For the frigate program, the Navy prided itself in having heavy industry engagement early on in the requirements development process to ensure that requirements were informed by both the state of technology as well as realistic cost estimates. Additionally, with all four bidders having participated in the conceptual design process ahead of the detail design and construction competition, the Navy hoped that there would be clarity on what it was looking for and how it prioritized cost and capability, therefore leading to less confusion and less likelihood of a protest period that would slow down the start of this new shipbuilding program.

    Ingalls Shipbuilding spokeswoman Teckie Hinkebein told USNI News that the Mississippi shipyard was disappointed to have lost the competition but that the process the Navy had used was a useful one.

    “Ingalls is disappointed that our highly capable ship was not selected, which includes our extensive experience in building, integrating and testing highly complex warships across numerous ship classes,” she said.
    “The early Navy-Industry studies were useful in shaping our understanding of the requirements. As a result, our offer was U.S. designed by U.S. engineers with U.S. material that was highly common with other Navy ships and leveraged the existing domestic supply chain. Unfortunately the Navy decided to go in another direction. We look forward to continuing our strong performance on our existing programs.”

    Austal declined to comment on the competition and its decision not to protest.

    Bath Iron Works did not comment directly to USNI News but pointed to recent comments by yard president Dirk Lesko, who said ongoing delays in Arleigh Burke-class destroyer construction at the yard likely contributed to the company not winning the frigate contract.

    “The thing we really need to focus on is, as we look at what comes after the work we currently have under contract, how do we do those things, meet those customer needs – quality, schedule and affordability – better than we are doing now,” Lesko told the Portland Press Herald. “There is no simple answer, but we know what to do, we know how to do it. We have to go work on that together and collaboratively with the Navy, collaboratively with the workforce.”

    Lesko noted that in recent years the yard also failed to win a Coast Guard cutter contract and won fewer destroyers under a recent contract than Ingalls Shipbuilding, which also builds Arleigh Burke DDGs. He said the company has years of DDG work ahead of it, but it’s currently running about six months behind schedule on production, which may contribute to losing out to other shipbuilders in recent years.

    “From the Navy’s evaluation, they say you are six months behind or more, that is a risk for me going forward on everything you have under contract and certainly a risk for anything new you would start,” he told the Maine newspaper.

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