Fincantieri Dedicates Navy Frigate Facility

Leaders from Fincantieri Marinette Marine, the U.S. Navy and Wisconsin-based Miron Construction dedicated a new facility at Fincantieri’s Marinette, Wis., shipyard with a small ceremony March 8. Fincantieri received a contract in 2020 that could be worth up to $5.5 billion to design and build the Navy’s newest class of ships, the Constellation-class guided-missile frigates.

Employees and guests gathered to open the newest building at the Marinette shipyard, Building 35, where plates of raw steel begin the journey to become a U.S. warship. The 32,000-square-foot building is connected to a new panel line where steel will be prepared, marked, cut and welded on an automated assembly line complete with state-of-the-art robotic welders. 

FMM is scheduled to begin construction on the first frigate this year, so the new facility will soon be busy as employees continue training ahead of frigate construction. The new building and panel line are part of the $300 million investment Fincantieri has recently made in its shipyards.

“It is important to remember that all of our construction and improvement projects are connected to a singular purpose: to be an efficient, modern shipyard that builds world-class frigates for the U.S. Navy,” said Dario Deste, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group. 

The new facility and panel line offer improvements in overall steel preparation, manufacturing and staging processes that will be needed in construction of Constellation-class frigates. Fincantieri plans to build two ships per year after the ship design is stabilized. Fincantieri is scheduled to deliver the lead ship in 2026 and the second vessel in 2027.

In addition to these ships, the Navy’s contract with FMM has options for eight additional frigates, which would be built in Wisconsin using Fincantieri’s system of shipyards, including Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay. 

On February 8, officials announced that L3Harris had joined the design team to provide integrated systems for the frigates. “We are glad to have L3Harris, specifically its innovative Integrated Mission Systems team, with us as together we build tomorrow’s Navy,” Deste said.

L3Harris Integrated Mission Systems President Sean Stackley said, “We’re excited by the opportunity to join the Fincantieri Marinette Marine team on the frigate program, and we look forward to bringing to bear industry-best speed, innovation and affordability as we deliver the advanced integrated capabilities that will ensure the Navy’s ability to operate this ship with impunity upon any sea.”

Other partners include GE Marine, Philly Gear and Thrustmaster.

Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, employs 19,000 shipbuilding professionals in 18 shipyards on four continents. Fincantieri has a history dating back more than 234 years and has built more than 7,000 ships. Fincantieri operates in the United States through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group.