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Defense Business Overview: Commencement of frigate construction. Naval acquisition chief tapped. A new rocket has been ordered. more...

Construction of a new Navy frigate begins. The first steel for the guided-missile frigate Constellation has been cut at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, the company said Tuesday. The news comes nearly two years after the shipyard beat out her three competitors for the contract to build her first three Connie-class frigates. The company has spent about $300 million on facility upgrades, as well as on the design of the frigate itself. Officials said the design was about 80 percent complete when construction began, and that “this is consistent with best practices across the naval shipbuilding industry.”

Many questions remain about the program, Many of them are investigated in the Congressional Research Service’s newly updated Report to Congress on the Constellation-class Frigate Program (FFG-62). Among those questions: Is the Navy keeping the ship’s expected cost low? If it were about the same as a fighter, the third and subsequent FFG-62s could be 17% to 56% higher than that, estimates for those ships shown in the Navy’s 2021 budget filing.

Finally, naval takeover candidates: The Navy has struggled to convince Congress that its budget and shipbuilding plans are on track, but the absence of a Senate-approved assistant secretary of the Navy in charge of research, development and acquisitions hasn’t helped. . Twenty months into his inauguration, the Biden administration has finally nominated its next person. Nicolas Guertin, a 40-year veteran of naval systems engineering and acquisition, has served as the Department of Defense’s Director of Operations Test and Evaluation since last December.

Textile makers get millions of dollars for upgrades. North Carolina-based Burlington Industries has received $6.8 million to upgrade its factory equipment, allowing it to produce better and faster military uniform fabrics, the DOD announced Tuesday. The funds will help “maintain and strengthen the base of the domestic garment and textile industry.”

Pratt & Whitney delivers 1000th F-35 engine. “Since delivering its first production engine in 2009, P&W has invested more than $500 million in capital, process improvements and cost reduction efforts to support production ramp-up and reduce the F135 average unit price by 50%. We have cut more than that,” the company said.

Rocket makers undertake engine development. The U.S. Air Force’s Tactical Funding Supplement Program has awarded Colorado-based Ursa Major a “flight-friendly 5,000-pound thrust, oxygen-rich staged-burn, suitable for both the booster and upper stages of a launch” Hadley. ” is paid to develop a rocket engine. for satellites to low earth orbit,” the company said. Cost and deadline have not been announced.

Increased orders for tankers for Boeing. The Pentagon has announced a $2.2 billion order for 15 KC-46A tankers for the U.S. Air Force and four for Israel for $928 million.

Make a move: Tim Cahill will become senior vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control division on November 1 and will become senior vice president of the company’s Global Business Development & Strategy division.Cahill spoke defense ones Marcus Weissgerber in 2017.

Thank you for reading the Defense Business Brief. Marcus Weissgerber will be back next week.

from Defense One

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