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NEWS | April 12, 2024

U.S. Navy Commemorates Keel Laying Ceremony for Constellation-Class Guided-Missile Frigate (FFG 62)

By Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) Public Affairs

MARINETTE, Wisc. – The U.S. Navy marked a significant construction milestone for the first Constellation-class guided-missile frigate (FFG 62) with a keel laying ceremony at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, April 12. The event signifies the formal beginning of the future USS Constellation’s construction process. FFG-62 is the lead ship of the Constellation-class program, the Navy’s next generation small surface combatant.

The Constellation-class Frigate program brings new capabilities to the fleet and represents a crucial step forward in the Navy's efforts to modernize and enhance maritime capabilities. Designed to operate in multiple domains, FFG-62 will play a pivotal role in bolstering national security and advancing naval operations worldwide.

Laying the keel, a longstanding tradition in shipbuilding, commemorates the start of a ship’s life and serves as the symbolic backbone of the ship.

U.S. Navy, government and industry leaders, alongside shipbuilders and the ship’s sponsor, Ms. Melissa Braithwaite, gathered in Marinette to witness the historic occasion, underscoring the collaborative efforts driving the success of the Constellation-class program.

"Today's ceremony symbolizes the dedication and skill of the shipbuilders and personnel involved in the construction of FFG-62,” said Rear Adm. Kevin Smith, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Unmanned and Small Combatants. “As we lay the foundation for this formidable vessel, we reaffirm our commitment to delivering a technologically advanced platform that will support the Navy's mission for decades to come."

Capt. Andy Gold, program manager of the Constellation-class Frigate program emphasized the significance of the event. "Laying the keel of the future USS Constellation marks a pivotal moment in not only the life of the ship, but for the whole class to follow,” Gold said. “Much as the original six frigates relied on a strong oak keel to perform their mission, so too does FFG-62’s keel signify a foundation of advanced capabilities, versatility and strength, all necessary to provide maritime superiority in an era of evolving threats." For more information about the FFG 62 Constellation-class program, please visit the ship’s Fact File.

PEO Unmanned and Small Combatants leads the Navy’s efforts in building a new generation of small surface combatants, unmanned undersea and surface vessels and mine warfare capabilities.