Rolls-Royce to produce 40 fixed-pitch propellers for US Navy Constellation-class FFG-62 frigate

According to information published by Roll-Royce on April 27, 2021, Rolls-Royce has reached an agreement with Fincantieri Marinette Marine to design and manufacture up to 40 fixed-pitch propellers for the U.S. Navy’s Constellation-class (FFG-62) guided missile frigate program.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Drawing and technical information about the US Navy Constellation-class FFG-62 frigate program. (Picture source Fincantieri)

Fincantieri was awarded the shipbuilding contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in April 2020, to design and build the first FFG-62 class frigate. The program of record is for a total of 20 ships, with the first to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2026. The first set of propellers (two per ship) is scheduled to be delivered to Fincantieri in 2023.

The propellers will be manufactured in Rolls-Royce’s recently upgraded Pascagoula, Mississippi foundry and will be some of the first work to utilize the newly installed state-of-the-art equipment and renovated facility; funded through investments from the DoD, Rolls-Royce, Jackson County (MS) and the state of Mississippi. Naval components manufactured by Rolls-Royce at Pascagoula include controllable-pitch propeller systems, fixed-pitch propellers, and water jets.

Each propeller for the FFG-62 class frigate weighs more than an average passenger bus. The Rolls-Royce Pascagoula Foundry is one of only two facilities in the country qualified to cast propellers of this size for the U.S. Navy. In fact, ninety-five percent of the commissioned U.S. Navy surface fleet is equipped with Rolls-Royce propellers.

The Constellation (FFG-62) class frigate program, previously known as the FFG(X) program, is a U.S. Navy program to build a class of 20 guided-missile frigates (FFGs). United States Congress funded the procurement of the first FFG-62 class ship in FY 2020 at a cost of $1,281.2 million, and the second FFG-62 class ship in FY2021 at a cost of $1,053.1 million.

The design for FFG-62 is based on the design of Fincantieri’s FREMM (Fregata Europea Multi-Missione) frigate, a ship that has been built in two variants, one for the Italian navy and one for the French navy. F/MM officials state that its FFG-62 design is based on the Italian variant, which has a length of 496.1 feet (144,59 m), a beam of 64.6 feet (19.69 m), a draft of 28.5 feet ( 8.68 m) and and a displacement of 6,900 tons.

The FFG-62 will be powered by Combined diesel-electric and gas (CODLAG) propulsion system and will be able to reach a top speed of 26 knots (48 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 6,000 nautical miles at 16 knots (30 km/h). 

The FFG-62 will be armed with 32 Mark 41 VLS cells with Possibly RIM-162 ESSM Block 2 and/or RIM-174 Standard ERAM missiles Planned RIM-66 Standard SM-2 Block 3C, eight or sixteen canister launched Over-the-horizon Anti-Ship Weapons (likely Naval Strike Missile), RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile launched from Mk 49 Guided Missile Launching System (21 cell), Mk 110 57mm naval gun with the Advanced Low Cost Munition Ordnance (ALaMO) projectile and related systems and various machine guns 7.62mm M240 or 12.7mm M2.

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