The US Navy has unveiled its plans for the purchase of a new frigate known as FFG(X).
The program has been in existence since 2017 and has become something of a political football in Congress, but on Wednesday 19th June, the House Appropriations Committee Defense Bill was passed meaning the program has now passed its fi rst signifi cant hurdle towards delivering new warships for the US Navy.
The move has, however, seen American protectionism in place as the new ships and its components must be manufactured in the United States, which has engendered criticism as well as a delay to the program of at least twelve months. This is in contradiction to the stated purpose of the FFG(X) program whose aim was to drive down costs and speed up acquisition.
On 17 June, the latest Freedom class Littoral Combat Ship, USS Minneapolis-St Paul was launched sideways into the river that fl ows past the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard in Wisconsin.
The ship was fi rst christened in 2013, but a number of defects and repairs has seen the ship languishing at the shipyard where she was constructed. Sister ship, Nordrhein-Westfalen, will be delivered to the fleet in 2019 and the other two ships of the class within the next two years.