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The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $15 million contract to mature its Freedom-variant Guided  Missile Frigate design as a part of the Navy’s FFG(X) competition.

Lockheed Martin submitted its design with Fincantieri Marinette Marine as its shipbuilder and Gibbs & Cox as its naval architect.

At the same time, Fincantieri Marinette Marine received its own $15 million dollar contract  to evolve Fincanteri’s FREMM multipurpose frigate design used in the Italian Navy into a Navy FFG(X) frigate.

The Lockheed Martin and Fincanteri designs are is among five being considered by the Navy in the design competition, the others being Austal USA, the Navy’s other LCS vendor,  General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, and Huntington Ingalls. All five were awarded the development contracts last week. The mature designs are due next year. The Navy plans to select a single design with the first ship ordered in 2020.