05/30/2019- In a seemingly sudden about-face, Lockheed Martin has announced they’re dropping out of the competition to design and construct the Navy’s new frigate. They were one of five being considered for the 20-ship contract, but, according to a Lockheed Martin spokesperson, they’ll now instead focus their attention on the ship’s combat system, including technologies like weapons, vertical launch system, anti-submarine warfare processing, and advanced electronic warfare. That means the company will still be heavily involved with the FFG(X), regardless of who the contract is ultimately awarded to. The decision does, however, lower the chance of the ships being constructed locally from 40% down to 25%, with Fincantieri Marine Group still in the running with their proposal based on their Italian FREMM design. The Navy is expected to award that new frigate contract sometime next year.