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FFG(X) Guided Missile Frigate - Program

On April 30, 2020, the Navy awarded Fincantieri Marinette Marine a contract to build the Navy’s new surface combatant, a guided missile frigate long designated as FFG(X). The contract guarantees that Fincantieri will build the lead ship (the first ship designed for a class) and gives the Navy options to build as many as nine additional ships.

Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wisconsin, on 30 April 2020 was awarded a $795,116,483 fixed-price incentive (firm target) contract for detail design and construction (DD&C) of the FFG(X) class of guided-missile frigates, with additional firm-fixed-price and cost reimbursement line items. The contract with options would provide for the delivery of up to 10 FFG(X) ships, post-delivery availability support, engineering and class services, crew familiarization, training equipment and provisioned item orders. If all options are exercised, the cumulative value of this contract would be $5,576,105,441. Work would be performed at multiple locations, including Marinette, Wisconsin (52%); Boston, Massachusetts (10%); Crozet, Virginia (8%); New Orleans, Louisiana (7%); New York, New York (6%); Washington, D.C. (6%), Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin (3%), Prussia, Pennsylvania (3%), Minneapolis, Minnesota (2%); Cincinnati, Ohio (1%); Atlanta, Georgia (1%); and Chicago, Illinois (1%). The base contract includes the DD&C of the first FFG(X) ship and separately priced options for nine additional ships.

The FFG(X) would have multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, and electronic warfare and information operations. FFG(X) represents 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 in the current security environment. Work is expected to be complete by May 2035, if all options are exercised. Fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $795,116,483 would be obligated at time of award and would not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website and four offers were received. The Navy conducted this competition using a tradeoff process to determine the proposal representing the best value, based on the evaluation of non-price factors in conjunction with price. The Navy made the best value determination by considering the relative importance of evaluation factors as set forth in the solicitation, where the non-price factors of design and design maturity and objective performance (to achieve warfighting capability) were approximately equal and each more important than remaining factors. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-20-C-2300).

The Navy intended to award a Detail Design and Construction contract in FY2020 for its next evolution of small surface combatant the future Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)). A competition for FFG(X) is envisioned to consider existing parent designs for a Small Surface Combatant that can be modified to accommodate the specific capability requirements prescribed by the US Navy. The Navy intendes to promote competition through multiple awards. This would reduce program risk for Detail Design & Construction; particularly with regard to the integration of warfare system elements and cyber architecture.

The Full and Open Competition for Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) Request for Proposals was expected in 4Q2019, with contract award in FY2020.

The Department of the Navy submitted the long-range ship acquisition plan to Congress Feb. 12. The 30-Year Ship Acquisition Plan is a Congressionally-mandated report which describes the Department of the Navy's long-range shipbuilding plans for 2019-2048. This plan addresses the Navy's most critical shipbuilding needs by establishing a stable profile of two per year Small Surface Combatants (LCS, FFG) starting in FY2022, accommodating the transition to FFG(X).

“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,” said James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. “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 acquisition process for FFG(X) began in 2017. Since then, the Navy has worked closely with industry to balance cost and capability. This approach was successful in achieving an Average Follow ship cost across ships 2 – 20 that is below the objective set in the CDD and aligns to the National Defense Strategy’s stated goal of achieving a more lethal, resilient, and agile force by pursuing acquisition strategies to build ships more quickly and affordably. For example, because the frigate acquisition program promoted shipbuilding competition, included early industry involvement, and open communication between all stakeholders, the program was able to accelerate almost six years as compared to normal shipbuilding programs.

The Navy released the FFG(X) DD&C Request for Proposals to industry 20 June 20019. Technical proposals were received in August 2019, and cost proposals were received in September 2019. This was a full and open competition with multiple offers received.

Austal USAmonohull Freedom class LCS 3,200 tons
Huntington IngallsLegend class National Security Cutter 4,300 tons
Lockheed Martintrimaran Independence class LCS 2,800 tons
Fincentieri MarineItalian FREMM 5,900 tons
General Dynamics Bath Iron WorksF100 frigate 5,800 tons
ThyssenKrupp Marine MEKO A-200 Mk II 3,700 tons

At the conference SAS 2019 (Sea Air Space) (USA), the developers presented new materials on FFG (X). Both of the presented designs are typical modern frigates, large ships with a displacement of 6,000-7,000+ tons, rather larger than the frigates of the 1970s-1980s, when the displacement of such ships rarely exceeded 4,000-4,500 tons.

The FFG (X) from Fincantieri / Marinette Marine is based on the Italian FREMM frigate. The ship is 496 feet long, with a beam of 65 feet. The CODLAG propulsion provides a maximum speed of 26+ knots, and a range of 6000 miles @ 16+ knots. Accommodations are provided for 200 people, hangar for 2 helicopters. The proposed Naval Strike Missile load has been doubled to 16 missiles. The FFG-X from General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (GD BIW) / Navantia / Raytheon was developed on the basis of the F100 project (with the AEGIS system) of the Spanish company Navantia, with the displacement increased from 5,800 tons to 7,000 tons.

Five contractors would mature their proposed ship design to meet the FFG(X) system specification. The conceptual design effort would inform the final specifications that would be used for the detail design and construction request for proposal that would deliver the required capability for FFG(X). The conceptual design phase would reduce cost, schedule, and performance risk for the follow-on detail design and construction contract. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with six offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation; and fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funding for each contract in the amounts of $11,000,000 and $1,200,000 respectively would be obligated at time of award and funds in the amount of $1,200,000 would expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

Austal USA LLC, Mobile, Alabama, was awarded on 16 February 2018 a $14,999,969 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $21,399,022. Work would be performed in Mobile, Alabama (57 percent); Pittsfield, Massachusetts (33 percent); Annapolis, Maryland (8 percent); Groton, Connecticut (1 percent); and Houston, Texas (1 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. (N00024-18-C-2325).

Huntington Ingalls Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi, was awarded on 16 February 2018 a $14,999,924 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $22,997,330. Work would be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi (95 percent); and Ocean Springs, Mississippi (5 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. (N00024-18-C-2327)

Lockheed Martin Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded on 16 February 2018 a $14,999,889 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $21,972,630. Work would be performed in Baltimore, Maryland (39 percent); Arlington, Virginia (23 percent); Moorestown, New Jersey (13 percent); New York, New York (12 percent), Newport News, Virginia (12 percent); and Marinette, Wisconsin (1 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. (N00024-18-C-2329)

On February 19, 2018 the US Navy awarded Fincantieri’s subsidiary Marinette Marine a $15M contract to evolve its FREMM-design into the next-generation frigate of the FFG(X) program. Currently, 6 FREMM frigates are in service with the Italian Navy and have successfully completed multi-role missions world-wide. The units of the FREMM class have also been chosen in Australia for the final stage of the SEA5000 tender to acquire 9 Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine has teamed with Gibbs & Cox and Trident Maritime Systems to evolve FREMM to U.S. design standards. This wholly American team would develop a ship design, which, in case of award of the construction contract, would be built at Fincantieri shipyards in the US, where, over the past 9 years the company has developed a highly skilled workforce, an extensive supply chain and expertise in building ships to US Navy standards.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “We are honored to see the FREMM down-selected by the US Navy on grounds of being a well-proven, highly capable and modern design, based on a deployed, high-performing ship, which is the closest to the requirements of the US program. We are committed to continue to play a part in the development of the US Navy’s small surface combatant strategy, central to our customer’s long-term goals for fleet size and to the growth of export for the American shipbuilding industry”. Bono concluded: “This contract, along with the selection of the FREMM project for the final round in the tender in Australia, confirms our global leadership in the design and construction of the most technologically advanced vessels and our ability to continuously innovate”.

Marinette Marine Corp., doing business as Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wisconsin, was awarded a $14,994,626 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $22,977,617. Work would be performed in Arlington, Virginia (40 percent); Marinette, Wisconsin (25 percent); Moorestown, New Jersey (18 percent); Iron Mountain, Michigan (7 percent); Crozet, Virginia (5 percent); and Metairie, Louisiana (5 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. (N00024-18-C-2328)

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, was awarded on 16 February 2018 a $14,950,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $22,900,000. Work would be performed in Bath, Maine (81 percent); Spain (10 percent); and Portsmouth, Rhode Island (9 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. (N00024-18-C-2326)

The Navy announced March 22, 2018, that it is renaming Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ship (PEO LCS) as Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) to better align the course and scope of responsibilities for both manned and unmanned systems to meet combatant commander needs. The Littoral Combat Ship and its mission capabilities remains a critically important shipbuilding program. With the introduction of FFG(X) and MMSC in the near future in addition to a burgeoning fleet of unmanned surface and subsurface vehicles, PEO USC is ideally positioned to play a critical role in the Navy's drive to boost innovation and increase the pace of technological change in the fleet.

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) intends to issue a solicitation under full and open competition in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019 for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of guided missile frigates under the FFG(X) program. The solicitation would provide for DD&C of up to ten (10) FFG(X) ships, post-delivery availability support, engineering and class services, crew familiarization, training equipment, and provisioned item orders.

FFG(X) would provide combatant and fleet commanders a uniquely suitable asset to achieve select sea control objectives and to perform maritime security operations while facilitating access in all domains in support of strike group and aggregated fleet operations. As part of the Navy's Distributed Maritime Operations Concept, the FFG(X) small surface combatant would expand blue force sensor and weapon influence to enhance the overall fleet tactical picture while challenging adversary intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and tracking efforts. FFG(X) would also contribute to the Navy the Nation Needs by relieving large surface combatants from the stress of routine duties during operations other than war. The Navy expects to build a total of twenty (20) FFG(X) ships as per the fiscal year 2019 Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels.

The solicitation would require prospective offerors to propose an FFG(X) design based on an existing parent ship design that has been demonstrated at sea. All technical requirements would be defined in the solicitation, system specification, and other government furnished information to be provided as part of the solicitation. FFG(X) ships must be constructed in a United States shipyard. Each offeror may submit only one proposal as a prime contractor. However, offerors may act as subcontractors under a prime contractor in one or more proposals.

The Contractor shall complete Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) based on a parent design that has been demonstrated at sea, engineering, ship trials, and testing of Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) ship(s) and shall deliver completed FFG(X) ship(s). The Government intends to award a single contract on the basis of a proposal submission without conducting discussions with Offerors, but reserves the right to conduct discussions per FAR 15.306, “Exchanges with Offerors After Receipt of Proposals,” if determined by the Contracting Officer to be necessary.

The Offeror shall describe the overall strategy, methods, and resources used to develop the proposed design. The Offeror shall discuss the design tools, methods, or approaches used in establishing the design. The Offeror shall discuss processes, decisions, and tradeoffs conducted in the course of developing the design, including use of any design tools or parent hull for sizing the design (i.e. hull form, space and weight).

The Offeror shall describe the level of design maturity represented in the proposed design. The Offeror shall describe the extent to which resistance and propulsion hydrodynamic testing and scale model seakeeping testing have been conducted on the FFG(X) hull design or parent hull, and how the results of any such testing have been included in the design of the hull. The Offeror shall identify and discuss the top technical risk areas and associated mitigation plans. The Offeror shall describe any design features or characteristics that have not been manufactured for a previous U.S. Navy shipbuilding program, and steps being taken in the design to reduce the associated manufacturing risk.

The Offeror shall describe the process for maturing the proposed design into a Detail Design, including successful completion of design reviews that would meet the FFG(X) Requirements as defined in FFG(X) Design & Readiness Review Requirements & Criteria, Attachment J-13. The Offeror shall describe an approach that fully demonstrates an understanding of the technical effort and provides a sound approach to developing a design that complies with the FFG(X) System Specification.

The Government would evaluate favorably an efficient and reasonable schedule based on a mature design that results in an accelerated Detail Design and Construction period. The Government defines “accelerated” as faster than 72 months for Detail Design, Construction, and Delivery of the first FFG(X) ship. The Government would evaluate the maturity and comprehensiveness of the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) including engineering, material purchasing, production, and testing.

The Navy issued the final solicitation N0002419R2300 for FFG(X) Detail Design & Construction [DD&C] 21 June 2019. The final solicitation materials supersede any draft solicitation documents previously provided or posted. Access to certain materials in the solicitation package requires prospective offerors to follow the instructions in the "Access to Controlled Solicitation Materials" section of this notice. Offerors must submit a request via email to the Contracting Officer and Contract Specialist identified in this notice in order to receive the classified materials in the final solicitation package.

An active SECRET Facility Clearance (FCL) was required for performance on this contract. The Contractor must maintain a Safeguarding Level of SECRET. The Contractor required access to Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) (Formerly for Official Use Only Information) with developers and integrators. The Contractor shall develop, implement, and maintain an Operations Security (OPSEC) Program Plan to protect classified and controlled unclassified activities, information, equipment and material used or developed by the Contractor and any subcontractor during the performance of this Contract. The OPSEC Program shall include physical security and access control that ensures that foreign nationals and others without a need to know and appropriate clearance cannot physically access (or visually observe) or electronically access FFG(X) information and equipment.

In the event that a Block Buy was enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act in future fiscal years, the Contractor shall enter into negotiations with the Government to determine a fair and reasonable price for each item under the Block Buy. The price of any ship designated as part of the Block Buy shall not exceed the corresponding non-Block Buy price. FFG(X) Ships #2 through #10 under this contract shall be exercised, if at all, in ascending numerical order (i.e., 0200, 0300, 0400, 0500, 0600, 0700, 0800, 0900, 1000) starting from the first available unexpired option. An available unexpired option is defined as an option that has not previously been exercised, and which has not yet expired per the latest option exercise date set forth in the Section I clause FAR 52.217-7. The expiration of an option shall not invalidate the remaining unexpired options.

In October 2020 CBO estimated that it would cost $12.3 billion in 2020 dollars to procure the first 10 ships, 40 percent more than the Navy’s estimate of $8.7 billion. If the Navy’s estimate proves to be accurate, however, the new frigate would be the least expensive surface combatant program of the past 50 years, even in comparison to much less capable ships.

Several factors support the Navy’s estimate. The FFG(X) is based on a design that has been in production for many years. Little if any new technology is being developed for it. The contractor is an experienced builder of small surface combatants. An independent estimate within the Department of Defense (DoD) was lower than the Navy’s estimate.

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Page last modified: 01-07-2021 14:52:46 ZULU