The Navy is naming its fourth Constellation-class frigate in honor of Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who helped the United States win the Revolutionary War against the British.
The fourth frigate will bear the name USS Lafayette (FFG-65), Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced announced while in Paris, according to a Thursday news release.
“A member of the French nobility, the young Lafayette took a fervent interest in the cause of the American revolutionaries, and in December 1776, was contracted into service as a major general in the Continental Army. In 1779, he returned briefly to France, where he successfully advocated for military aid for the Americans,” the Navy news release reads.
“He was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine, where British soldiers shot him in the leg. After his recovery, Lafayette joined Gen. George Washington as a member of his personal staff, forming a bond that has been characterized as the one shared between a father and his son.”
Lafayette was made an honorary citizen, posthumously, in 2002. The frigate will be the fourth ship named in honor of Lafayette.
Lafayette is expected to commission in 2029, according to the release.
“Just as her namesake, the Marquis de Lafayette did almost 250 years ago, USS Lafayette and her crew will stand ready to answer our Nation’s call to defend our shared principles around the world, ensuring that our global maritime commons remain free and open for all who wish to use them for lawful activities,” Del Toro said in the release.
The Navy issued Fincantieri Marinette Marine a $526 million contract modification to build the fourth frigate in May, USNI News previously reported. The contract modification came 11 months after the sea service modified it for a third ship.
Fincantieri started work on the lead ship, the future USS Constellation (FFG-62), in August 2022. The second hull is the future USS Congress (FFG-63) and the third hull is the future USS Chesapeake (FFG-64).