The U.S. Navy has issued a request for information on existing designs of small surface combatant ships that can be modified to meet the service branch's requirements for its future guided-missile frigates.
The military branch said in a FedBizOpps notice posted Monday that it plans to award a contract in fiscal year 2020 to design and build the new FFG(X) frigate.
Interested contractors should provide information on their ship designs such as marine engineering design and naval architecture, identify cost drivers associated with warfare systems and threshold requirements as well as provide schedule and cost estimates for the construction of a class of 20 FFG(X) ships.
The Navy said it envisions the new frigate to set up a local sensor network that would use unmanned vehicles, onboard sensors, aircraft and tethered systems to facilitate data collection and establish connection to the fleet tactical grid.
Responses to the RFI are due Aug. 24, according to the notice.
Breaking Defense also reported that the future frigate should navigate at a speed of more than 28 knots, accommodate up to 200 crew and have shock hardening capabilities against potential attacks.
The Navy also expressed plans to equip the new combat ship with defensive weapons systems such as SM-2 Standard Missile and the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile as well as active electronic attack and directed energy capabilities.
“The RFI implies the Navy is still concerned about the cost of the new ship and perhaps wants to use the FFG(X) as something other than a traditional frigate,“ Bryan Clark, a retired Navy commander, told Breaking Defense in an email.