The Associated Press
President Donald Trump, shown in a file photo from earlier this month, is scheduled to visit Fincantieri Marinette Marine on Thursday. It will be first time a current president has visited the Twin City area.
The Associated Press

President Donald Trump, shown in a file photo from earlier this month, is scheduled to visit Fincantieri Marinette Marine on Thursday. It will be first time a current president has visited the Twin City area.

MARINETTE — President Donald Trump will visit Marinette next week. It will mark the first time a current president has been to the Twin City area.

Trump will tour Fincantieri Marinette Marine Thursday and deliver a speech. The president is expected to discuss the expansion of the shipyard and the recent contract his administration awarded to Marinette Marine to build up to 10 new ships. No other details of his visit were announced.

On April 30, the Department of Defense awarded a $795 million contract to build the first-in-class guided-missile frigates (FFGx) for the U.S. Navy, with an option for nine additional ships. The contract could be worth up to $5.5 billion and construction could continue for 15 years if all the options are exercised.

In December, FMM Chief Executive Officer Jan Allman told the EagleHerald the FFG(x) program would double the shipyard in size and add about 700 employees. A White House spokesperson said Fincantieri is investing $200 million in Wisconsin and up to 1,000 jobs could be added, including subcontractors,.

The Navy plans to build 20 ships as part of the future frigate program. Fincantieri will build an adapted variant of the Italian FREMM (European multi-purpose frigate) at Marinette Marine. That frigate hull is already in use by navies in Europe.

The Navy says the new frigates will be capable of air, surface and anti-submarine warfare, plus electronic warfare and information operations.

Marinette Marine was in competition with four other shipyards for the contract: Austal USA of Alabama; Bath Iron Works in Maine; Huntington Ingalls of Mississippi; and Lockheed Martin in Maryland.

More details on President Trump’s visit will be available next week. The president last visited Wisconsin in January when he was in Milwaukee. He is holding a campaign rally tonight in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event has drawn criticism because of the current coronavirus pandemic. Trump, a Republican, is in a reelection campaign against Democrat Joe Biden. Wisconsin is a key battleground state.

Vice President Mike Pence toured and spoke at FMM in November.

FMM officials could not be reached for comment Friday evening.