Fincantieri Marinette Marine received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration for upgrades to its shipyard, which will provide it with additional capacity to produce the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant and future ships.
“We have invested more than $100 million in recent years to improve our facilities and develop our workforce, and this grant allows us to continue modernization efforts and to solidify our shipbuilding center of excellence in the Midwest,” said Dario Deste, CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group. “These planned additions to the shipyard will make us more capable to build larger ships that our government customers desire.”
FMM’s shipyard consists of 12 buildings and 550,000 square feet of production capability for its 1,500 employees. As part of the new facility upgrade, FMM plans to acquire and install three additional 100-ton bridge cranes in a new hull-erecting building that is in the engineering and design phase.
Fincantieri Marinette Marine is one of four shipbuilders working with the U.S. Navy to design the new guided missile frigate, known as FFG(X). The competition for the $1.2B initial design is expected to wrap up in late 2020, and the Navy wants to build 20 frigates in the next 10 years.
If Fincantieri Marinette Marine wins the competition for the future frigate, it would be a huge windfall for the local Wisconsin community and entire Midwest, as conservative estimates suggest a multi-billion-dollar economic impact over the course of the program, according to Deste. The majority of suppliers on Fincantieri’s frigate would be from the Midwest.
The company is in serial production of the Littoral Combat Ships for the U.S. Navy, but the Navy has indicated a need for a slightly larger and more capable surface combatant.