Navantia is selected for the design phase of the new U.S frigates
The public naval company Navantia has been selected by the United States Government, along with their local partner, the American Shipyard General Dynamics Bath Iron Work , for the conceptual design phase of FFGX frigate programme, which seeks to acquire 20 of these shipswith construction in the United States. This pre-selection for FFGX programme, together with the Australian SEA5000 and Canadian Surface Combatant, shows Navantia is the only naval company that is currently competing in the three biggest frigate international programmes that are being developed in the global scope.
The company has explained they plan to use as a reference the design of the Australian frigate AWD Hobart class, derived of the current F100 of the Spanish Army and built in the shipyards of Ferrol. “Navantia and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works will adapt this design” to the specifications of the U.S Army, as indicated from the factory. The conceptual design contract will have a duration of 16 months, at the end of which will be presented the offer for the selection of the builder for the 20 frigates, scheduled for 2020.
The relation between Navantia and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works goes back for more than four decades, since their cooperation in the Santa María class frigate programme of the Spanish Army, still operating and based in Rota (Cádiz), transferring the American company its technology to Bazán, at the time, now Navantia. Other programmes have joined this cooperation, like the one of AFCON corvette, AWD programme for the Australian Army and the OPC patrol vessel project for the American Coast Guard.