Digital Tools Used For Constellation Class Frigate Bridge Design
By reutilizing design artifacts, the Constellation class frigate program office constructed a live, virtual bridge environment to provide the first glimpses into the general pilot house arrangements and how crews will interact with those arrangements under differing watchstanding conditions. Post-command representatives from in-service surface ship classes, including Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) and Zumwalt (DDG 1000) class guided missile destroyers, San Antonio class amphibious transport docks (LPD 17), and Freedom-variant littoral combat ships (LCS), conducted the bridge validation event to gather design and operational feedback.
This event shows the continuing partnership between the FFG acquisition community, its industry partners, and the eventual fleet operators.
“Shipbuilding is hard, and shipbuilding is a team sport. By providing the forum and the tools to receive and incorporate feedback, we are able to expand the program’s reach and the depth of experience to ensure we deliver a world-class warship with world-class safety in navigation and operation.”
Capt. Kevin Smith, Constellation-class frigate program manager
The frigate program office is undertaking a transformational approach to ship design, production and sustainment.
U.S. Navy rendering of behind the aft navigation console on the FFG 62 model. (NAVSEA image)
“Within the program office, we recognize that the data we generate from day one has a purpose and utility that will be carried through the life of the program,” said Jonas Brown, director of product support and readiness for the frigate program. “This event was a showcase that demonstrates how we connect detail design and production artifacts together with manpower, training and sustainment concepts to create a digital engineering capability that modernizes Navy shipbuilding processes.”
As the program matures, the expansion of digital offerings will include design, production, test and logistics support information, ultimately setting the roadmap for the management of lifecycle data and a virtual model throughout the entire service life of the frigates.
The Constellation class frigates is being built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, and will deliver in 2026.