BALTIMORE — State Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, recently traveled with a representative from Gov. Scott Walker’s administration to Baltimore to tour the Alpino (F594), a FREMM frigate manufactured in Italy by Fincantieri Marine Group.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine is currently competing for contracts to build up to 20 future frigates for the United States Navy in Marinette. The U.S. Navy recently announced that it will be reducing the production of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), currently manufactured in Marinette, and will instead be ordering the larger frigates.

“Marinette Marine has been a major employer and has helped lead the economic turnaround in Marinette,” said Nygren. “Since it began production of the LCS, unemployment in Marinette County has gone from nearly 12 percent to 3.9 percent.”

“Marinette Marine is well situated to meet the U.S. Navy’s demand for frigates moving forward,” he added. “It is critical, as a state, that we support Marinette Marine in its efforts to build the infrastructure necessary to secure this next contract.”

The Marinette County Association for Business and Industry estimates that building the FREMM frigate in Marinette will add over 1,400 direct and indirect jobs annually on top of about 5,400 currently. In the last nine years, Marinette Marine has had an estimated $4.4 billion impact on Marinette County and the surrounding region.

The Alpino will spent time visiting several ports along the East Coast to showcase its capabilities. During this trip, the Alpino conducted training and partnership activities with the U.S. Navy.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Navy announced five finalists for the frigate, Fincantieri Marinette Marine being one. The Navy expects to pay from $800 to $900 million per frigate and will award a contract in 2020.