Fincantieri launches first Italy’s FREMM
multi-mission frigate

By Luca Perruzzi/ESDPA Italia

Italy’s first-of-class (FoC) FREMM multi-mission frigate, developed under the joint French and Italian OCCAR-managed program, was dry-launched on 16 July at Fincantieri shipbuilding group’s Riva Trigoso shipyard, between Genoa and La Spezia. Design and constructed by prime contractor Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (OSN), the joint-venture between Fincantieri and Selex Sistemi Integrati’s Finmeccanica company (49%), the christened Carlo Bergamini (F 590), 6,000t full load displacement, 140 m long, 19,7 m large stealth-designed multi-mission frigate is the first of an originally planned class of 10 vessels, including 6 in a GP (General Purpose) and 4 in a ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) version. Equipped with a flight deck and hangar for two NHIndustries NH-90 NFH but also able to accommodate AgustaWestland AW-101 helicopter, these frigates feature a CODLAG (Combined Diesel-eLectric And Gas) propulsion system including a 34MW Avio-General Electric LM2500+G4 plus 2×2,1 reversible electrical motors and four Isotta Fraschini gensets, which allow to reach a maximum speed of over 27 knots and a range of 6,000 nm at 15 kts.

To be transferred by a large, sea conditions depending, in the coming days at nearby Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard, Carlo Bergamini FoC GP frigate will be transferred on the floating dock and lowered into the water soon after. It will conduct sea trials from next October to the first quarter of 2012, when combat system trails will start and last until the end of the same year, for a contractual delivery planned for February 2013”, reports Giorgio Sirigu, Fincantieri FREMM project manager, adding that discussion are on-going for a possible early-delivery. “Carlo Bergamini’s platform is almost complete, with main combat system items, including Selex Sistemi Integrati combat management system (CMS) and decision making support equipment, sensors antennas and weapon systems already installed and already under setting-to-work activities. This thanks to a dry-deck equipped area to conduct initial HAT (Harbour Acceptance Trails) on ground”, adds Giorgio Sirigu.
Carlo Bergamini FoC is already equipped with Oto Melara’s 127/64 mm main gun for Vulcano advanced long-range ammunitions and Strales ILDS (Inner-Layer Defence System) with 76/62 Super Rapido and guided ammunition system in addition to two 25 mm KBA manned guns. Selex Sistemi Integrati is the prime contractor and system provider for Italy’s FREMM combat management and decision making support systems, while Selex Elsag (from Selex Communications and Elsag Datamat Finmeccanica companies fusion) provides the ship communication package, both derived from Italian-French Horizon class destroyers and Cavour aircraft carrier programs and the advanced Seastema (Fincantieri/ABB joint-venture) IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System). The combat systems installed equipment include the SAAM-ESD (Extended Self-Defence) for air-defence with new generation Selex Sistemi Integrati (Selex-SI) EMPAR MFRA radar active-phased array antenna equipped multifunction radar and DCNS Sylver A50 launchers (8×2) for MBDA Aster 15/30 missiles, Selex-SI New generation phased array IFF, RAN30X-I RASS surface-air search and surveillance radar and two NA-25 gun fire-control systems in addition to GEM Elettronica/Selex Galileo navigation radars, SASS IRST (IR search and tracking) system from Selex Galileo and Oto Melata SCLAR-H decoy launchers. The SIGEN (Elettronica/Thales consortium) EW suite already installed includes passive and active subsystems), while the ASW suite features WASS mine avoidance and Thales Underwater Systems (TUS) bow-mounted sonar with tam-tam technology, together with WASS two-triple torpedo launchers and two anti-torpedo decoy launchers. The GP version will also be equipped with 8 MBDA Otomat Mk 2A Block IV anti-ship missiles, stern-launched 11 m and laterally launched 7 m RIHBs for MIO (Maritime Interdiction Operations) activities
The program’s second frigate under construction, to be officially named Virginio Fasan (F 591), “is the first-of-class (FoC) ASW version vessel, and is in advanced stage of construction and fitting-out”, reports Fincantieri program manager, as was visible on the same shipyard dry-deck area. It will be launched in the first quarter of 2012, readied for sea trials in the same-year summer and to be delivered on summer 2013. The ASW version of Italy’s FREMM differs from GP frigate, for two instead of one Oto Melara Stales ILDS (replacing the 127/64 main gun), an ASW suite including already mentioned equipment for GP version, plus Thales Underwater Systems (TUS) VDS (Variable Depth Sonar) and towed array system, both replacing stern-launched 11 rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB), and a mix of MBDA Otomat anti-ship and MILAS ASW missiles.
The third vessel to be named Carlo Margottini (F 592), which hull-sections were visible under one of the shipyard main facilities, is another ASW version frigate, and will be launched at the beginning of 2013, to be ready for sea trials in summer of the same-year and to be delivered in February 2014. The fourth frigate (ASW version) first steel cut was attained in April 2011 and will be named Luigi Rizzo (F 593), all-names according a previous class of frigates, which have pioneered the introduction of rotary wing assets for ASW in the ‘60s.
Although Italy’s MoD has already exercised the option for the second batch of four frigates in addition to the first two-vessel batch for a total of six FREMM, “funding issues has still to be settled for the final two of these six frigates”, remarked Italian Navy’s Chief of Staff admiral Bruno Branciforte, attending the ceremony together with Italy’s Defence chief of staff gen Biagio Abrate. An unlikely possibility according to current funding situation, Fincantieri’s CEO, Giuseppe Bono highlighted the need to complete the program with the final four frigates, which option for the first two has to be exercised without penalties for Italy within 2013 and the second in 2015. “A possible program reduction will introduce an important operational gap”, added admiral Bruno Branciforte.
By Luca Perruzi/ESDPA Italie

Italy’s first-of-class (FoC) FREMM multi-mission frigate, developed under the joint French and Italian OCCAR-managed program, was dry-launched on 16 July at Fincantieri shipbuilding group’s Riva Trigoso shipyard, between Genoa and La Spezia. Design and constructed by prime contractor Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (OSN), the joint-venture between Fincantieri and Selex Sistemi Integrati’s Finmeccanica company (49%), the christened Carlo Bergamini (F 590), 6,000t full load displacement, 140 m long, 19,7 m large stealth-designed multi-mission frigate is the first of an originally planned class of 10 vessels, including 6 in a GP (General Purpose) and 4 in a ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) version. Equipped with a flight deck and hangar for two NHIndustries NH-90 NFH but also able to accommodate AgustaWestland AW-101 helicopter, these frigates feature a CODLAG (Combined Diesel-eLectric And Gas) propulsion system including a 34MW Avio-General Electric LM2500+G4 plus 2×2,1 reversible electrical motors and four Isotta Fraschini gensets, which allow to reach a maximum speed of over 27 knots and a range of 6,000 nm at 15 kts.

To be transferred by a large, sea conditions depending, in the coming days at nearby Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard, Carlo Bergamini FoC GP frigate will be transferred on the floating dock and lowered into the water soon after. It will conduct sea trials from next October to the first quarter of 2012, when combat system trails will start and last until the end of the same year, for a contractual delivery planned for February 2013”, reports Giorgio Sirigu, Fincantieri FREMM project manager, adding that discussion are on-going for a possible early-delivery. “Carlo Bergamini’s platform is almost complete, with main combat system items, including Selex Sistemi Integrati combat management system (CMS) and decision making support equipment, sensors antennas and weapon systems already installed and already under setting-to-work activities. This thanks to a dry-deck equipped area to conduct initial HAT (Harbour Acceptance Trails) on ground”, adds Giorgio Sirigu.
Carlo Bergamini FoC is already equipped with Oto Melara’s 127/64 mm main gun for Vulcano advanced long-range ammunitions and Strales ILDS (Inner-Layer Defence System) with 76/62 Super Rapido and guided ammunition system in addition to two 25 mm KBA manned guns. Selex Sistemi Integrati is the prime contractor and system provider for Italy’s FREMM combat management and decision making support systems, while Selex Elsag (from Selex Communications and Elsag Datamat Finmeccanica companies fusion) provides the ship communication package, both derived from Italian-French Horizon class destroyers and Cavour aircraft carrier programs and the advanced Seastema (Fincantieri/ABB joint-venture) IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System). The combat systems installed equipment include the SAAM-ESD (Extended Self-Defence) for air-defence with new generation Selex Sistemi Integrati (Selex-SI) EMPAR MFRA radar active-phased array antenna equipped multifunction radar and DCNS Sylver A50 launchers (8×2) for MBDA Aster 15/30 missiles, Selex-SI New generation phased array IFF, RAN30X-I RASS surface-air search and surveillance radar and two NA-25 gun fire-control systems in addition to GEM Elettronica/Selex Galileo navigation radars, SASS IRST (IR search and tracking) system from Selex Galileo and Oto Melata SCLAR-H decoy launchers. The SIGEN (Elettronica/Thales consortium) EW suite already installed includes passive and active subsystems), while the ASW suite features WASS mine avoidance and Thales Underwater Systems (TUS) bow-mounted sonar with tam-tam technology, together with WASS two-triple torpedo launchers and two anti-torpedo decoy launchers. The GP version will also be equipped with 8 MBDA Otomat Mk 2A Block IV anti-ship missiles, stern-launched 11 m and laterally launched 7 m RIHBs for MIO (Maritime Interdiction Operations) activities
The program’s second frigate under construction, to be officially named Virginio Fasan (F 591), “is the first-of-class (FoC) ASW version vessel, and is in advanced stage of construction and fitting-out”, reports Fincantieri program manager, as was visible on the same shipyard dry-deck area. It will be launched in the first quarter of 2012, readied for sea trials in the same-year summer and to be delivered on summer 2013. The ASW version of Italy’s FREMM differs from GP frigate, for two instead of one Oto Melara Stales ILDS (replacing the 127/64 main gun), an ASW suite including already mentioned equipment for GP version, plus Thales Underwater Systems (TUS) VDS (Variable Depth Sonar) and towed array system, both replacing stern-launched 11 rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB), and a mix of MBDA Otomat anti-ship and MILAS ASW missiles.
The third vessel to be named Carlo Margottini (F 592), which hull-sections were visible under one of the shipyard main facilities, is another ASW version frigate, and will be launched at the beginning of 2013, to be ready for sea trials in summer of the same-year and to be delivered in February 2014. The fourth frigate (ASW version) first steel cut was attained in April 2011 and will be named Luigi Rizzo (F 593), all-names according a previous class of frigates, which have pioneered the introduction of rotary wing assets for ASW in the ‘60s.
Although Italy’s MoD has already exercised the option for the second batch of four frigates in addition to the first two-vessel batch for a total of six FREMM, “funding issues has still to be settled for the final two of these six frigates”, remarked Italian Navy’s Chief of Staff admiral Bruno Branciforte, attending the ceremony together with Italy’s Defence chief of staff gen Biagio Abrate. An unlikely possibility according to current funding situation, Fincantieri’s CEO, Giuseppe Bono highlighted the need to complete the program with the final four frigates, which option for the first two has to be exercised without penalties for Italy within 2013 and the second in 2015. “A possible program reduction will introduce an important operational gap”, added admiral Bruno Branciforte.