An artist’s rendering of a Constellation-class frigate. Courtesy U.S.Navy

San Diego is the West Coast home of the trimaran-hull Littoral Combat Ships, but the Navy announced Wednesday that Everett, WA, will get the first 12 of the new Constellation-class guided missile frigates.

Naval Station Everett will be the homeport for the new ships, which are larger and more heavily armed than the littoral ships. The first of the 496-foot warships is scheduled to be delivered in 2026.

The new ships, to be built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine at a shipyard on Lake Michigan, will feature Aegis combat radar, 32 missiles in vertical launch tubes, a separate anti-ship missile system and a 57mm main gun.

The program was launched partly in response to concerns that the littoral ships do not have sufficiently heavy armament to counter new warships in China’s growing Navy.

The previous Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates entered service between 1977 and 1989 and were decommissioned between 1994 and 2015.

The Navy said another homeport would be chosen for the new frigates built after the first 12.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.