has reached agreement with Fincantieri Marinette Marine to design and manufacture up to 40 fixed-pitch propellers for the US Navy’s Constellation-class (FFG-62) guided missile frigate programme.
Fincantieri was awarded the shipbuilding contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) in April 2020, to design and build the first FFG-62 class frigate. It is for a total of 20 ships, with the first to be delivered to the US Navy in 2026.
Neil Pickard, senior vice president (business development and future programmes, land and sea), said: “We are excited to join Fincantieri on the US Navy’s newest frigate programme.
“We have been strong international partners for many years and now we will work together in the USA for the first time to deliver world-class American-made products for our military.”
The first set of propellers (two per ship) is scheduled to be delivered to Fincantieri in 2023 and will be manufactured in Rolls-Royce’s recently upgraded Pascagoula, Mississippi foundry.
It will be some of the first work to utilise 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.
Mr Pickard said: “This will be one of the first dividends realised on the recent investments in Pascagoula thus ensuring critical Naval manufacturing capabilities are retained in the USA and, we will continue to deliver on those investments, supporting the needs of the future Naval fleet with our full range of in-country capabilities including design, manufacture, test and maintenance.”
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, 95% of the commissioned US Navy surface fleet is equipped with Rolls-Royce propellers.
Naval components manufactured by Rolls-Royce at Pascagoula include controllable-pitch propeller systems, fixed-pitch propellers and water jets.