Fincantieri Marinette Marine CEO Mark Vandroff hopes residents of the area surrounding the shipbuilder’s grounds will forgive the company for the disruption of blasting and dredging work taking place to make way for work on the Constellation-class guided missile frigate contract. While noisy, the work is the sound of economic progress.
The shipbuilder is investing $200 million in capital expansions to prepare for the U.S. Navy contract, which could be worth $5.5 billion if all options are exercised. FMM has two ships under contract so far, and the Navy is requesting funding for the third of 10 ships in the budget that’s now on Capitol Hill. The Navy has made public its plans to eventually build a class of at least 20 of the vessels, Vandroff says.
The projects underway in Marinette include construction of Building 34, which will accommodate the building and erecting of two frigates at a time under cover and in a climate-controlled space. The frigate is both longer and heavier than the littoral combat ships FMM is now constructing and needed a larger facility.