"As part of its FY2018 budget submission, the Navy has initiated a new program, called the FFG(X) program, to build a new class of guided-missile frigates. The Navy wants to procure the first FFG(X) in FY2020, a second FFG(X) in FY2021, and two FFG(X)s per year starting in FY2022. Given current Navy force-structure goals, the Navy might procure a total of 8 to 20 FFG(X)s. The Navy's proposed FY2018 budget requests $143.5 million in research and development funding for the program. U.S. Navy frigates are smaller, less capable, and less expensive to procure and operate than U.S. Navy destroyers and cruisers. In contrast to cruisers and destroyers, which are designed to operate in higher-threat areas, frigates are generally intended to operate more in lower-threat areas. The Navy envisages the FFG(X) as a multimission ship capable of conducting anti-air warfare (aka air defense) operations, anti-surface warfare operations (meaning operations against enemy surface ships and craft), antisubmarine warfare operations, and electromagnetic maneuver warfare (EMW) operations. (EMW is a new term for electronic warfare.) Although the Navy has not yet determined the design of the FFG(X), given the desired capabilities just mentioned, the ship will likely be larger in terms of displacement, more heavily armed, and more expensive to procure than the Navy's Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs). The Navy envisages developing no new technologies or systems for the FFG(X)--the ship is to use systems and technologies that already exist or are already being developed for use in other programs."
CRS Report for Congress, R44972
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html