First Constellation-Class Frigate Set For August Keel Laying

By Xavier Vavasseur

Fincantieri confirmed to Naval News during Sea Air Space 2023 that the keel laying ceremony for the future USS Constellation is “projected for August 2023”.

Three ships of the class have been awarded to Fincantieri: The Constellation (FFG 62) in 2020, the Congress (FFG 63) in 2021, and the Chesapeake (FFG 64) in 2022. A contract for construction of the fourth ship-in-class, the yet to be named FFG 65, is expected sometime this year.


The future USS Constellation (FFG 62) is the lead ship of the US Navy’s newest class of warships. Construction of the first-in-class ship is underway. The shipyard, Fincantieri Marinette Marine officially began construction of the first Constellation-class frigate last summer. The shipyard which used to produce Freedom-type LCS, and is about to launch the last and final one on Saturday, went through an extensive upgrade of its facilities to support the frigate program. These capital Improvements at the yard are set to be completed in 2023.

In a recent social media post, the shipbuilder explained that it is already planning for the future:

This new acquisition program is changing things up by prioritizing the sustainment of these ships. Here are some key points:

  • The USS Constellation is being built by Fincantieri, using several cost-saving measures to reduce risk and improve efficiency.
  • Unlike previous ships, the Constellation will be built to 90% completion before transferring into the water, saving time and providing better access to the ship.
  • The Constellation-class frigates will be used for various operations, including anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, electromagnetic warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.


It’s clear that Fincantieri is taking a strategic and innovative approach to building and maintaining these new ships. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish with the Constellation-class frigates!

During a NAVSEA briefing on the program during Sea Air Space 2023, Capt. Kevin Smith, FFG 62 Program Manager, explained the US Navy is still working through a timeline to meet a congressional mandate to add Standard Missile 6 and the Tomahawk Cruise Missiles to future Constellation-class guided-missile frigates.

The FFG 62 class is based off the Italian Navy variant of the FREMM multi-mission Frigate.

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