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Navy awards $795M frigate contract to Marinette Marine

Fincantieri Marinette Marine says its new FFG(X) class frigate will be based on the mature...
Fincantieri Marinette Marine says its new FFG(X) class frigate will be based on the mature FREMM frigate hull Fincantieri developed for other navies (screenshot via Fincantieri Marinette Marine video)(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 4:53 PM CDT
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The U.S. Navy has awarded a contract to Fincantieri Marinette Marine to build up to ten guided-missile carrying frigates.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) says this could bring 1,000 more jobs to Marinette.

Marinette Marine was in competition with four other shipyards for the contract: Austal USA of Alabama; Bath Iron Works in Maine; Huntington Ingalls of Mississippi: and Lockheed Martin in Maryland.

The Navy says the contract is to design and build one frigate with an option to build nine more.

The

says the contract is valued at more than $795 million and could be worth up to $5.6 billion and construction could continue for 15 years if all the options are exercised.

The Navy says the new frigates will be capable of air, surface and anti-submarine warfare, plus electronic warfare and information operations.

Fincantieri Marine Group says the new ship is based on the FREMM frigate hull that's already in use by navies in Europe.

State Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) persuaded 54 state lawmakers to sign a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump saying Marinette Marine is vital to northeast Wisconsin's economy. They warned if Fincantieri didn't win the contract, it could close the shipyard.

Marinette Marine has been building Littoral Combat Ships for the Navy -- a design that's being phased out by the U.S. military. The Navy determined it needed a new type of ship with more lethal power, capability and more survivability, and modifying the LCS to meet those goals wasn't feasible.

"This is a big win for our Made in Wisconsin economy right now," Sen. Baldwin wrote in a statement Thursday, "and it will support thousands of skilled workers at the Marinette Marine shipyard and bring an additional 1,000 jobs to Marinette as the Navy quickly moves forward with construction of the Frigate."

"I am ecstatic not only for my hometown but all of Wisconsin with the announcement that Fincantieri Marinette Marine has been awarded the highly competitive Navy contract to build frigate warships," Nygren wrote in a separate statement. "This is a monumental moment for Wisconsin and speaks to the highly skilled individuals that live and work in Wisconsin."

Nygren says he secured $29 million in Harbor Assistance grants in the state budget for dredging and construction associated with Marinette Marine's facilities if it received the contract and $2 million in workforce training grants for the shipbuilder.

According to the DOD, 52% of work on the FFG(X) class frigate will be done in Marinette and 3% in Sturgeon Bay. In all, eleven states will benefit from work on the ship.