WASHINGTON – Buoyed by rapid progress on the next-generation frigate, the U.S. Navy’s top officer is ready to quickly move out on the long-debated replacement for the Navy’s aging cruisers.
In an exclusive interview with Defense News, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson laid out a strategy for a new large surface combatant that uses some of the tricks the Navy is employing on the FFG(X) program: looking at existing hull forms as a base for a tailor-made future combatant that can evolve over time.
“We’re going to start putting the pedal to the metal on the next major surface combatant,” Richardson said Wednesday afternoon. “I think we learned a lot in the frigate discussion and turned around the major surface combatant discussion in record time.
“I’d like to do the whole thing, well, as fast as possible but do it in the frigate timeframes: in terms of defining what we want, the requirements, getting industry involved, making it a very open competition."
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