Italian shipbuilder, Fincantieri has launched the eighth FREMM frigate, ITS Antonio Marceglia for the Italian Navy, during a ceremony at the integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso in Genoa on Feb. 3, 2018.
Godmother of the launching ceremony was Mrs. Silvia Marceglia, niece of the namesake, Antonio Marceglia. The ceremony was also attended by the Italian Minister of Defence, Roberta Pinotti: the Chief of Defence, General Claudio Graziano and the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli.
The President of Fincantieri, Giampiero Massolo, and the CEO, Giuseppe Bono, played host to Giovanni Toti, Governor of the Liguria Region, in addition to a number of civil and religious authorities.
After the launching, outfitting activities will continue in the Integrated naval shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia), with delivery scheduled in 2019.
— Ministero Difesa (@MinisteroDifesa) February 3, 2018
The future ITS Antonio Marceglia (F597) is the eighth in a series of 10 FREMM (Fregata europea multi-missione, European multi-purpose frigate) vessels ordered by the Navy. The vessels of the class are also known as Bergamini-class in Italian Navy service after the lead ship of the class, ITS Carlo Bergamini (F590).
ITS Antonio Marceglia, like the other FREMM units, will feature a high degree of flexibility, capable of operating in all tactical situations.
The ship is 144 metres long with a beam of 19.7 metres and a displacement of approximately 6,700 tonnes at full load. The vessel will have a maximum speed of over 27 knots and will provide accommodation for a 200-person crew.
Fincantieri was awarded the order for the 10 FREMM vessels within the framework of an Italo-French cooperation program under the coordination of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation), a European intergovernmental organisation which facilitates and manages collaborative armament programmes through their life-cycle between the nations.
The FREMM vessels replaces the Lupo-class frigates (already decommissioned) and the Maestrale-class frigates (close to the attainment of operational limit) of the Navy, both built by Fincantieri in the 1970s.
The first two vessels of the class, ITS Carlo Bergamini (F590) and ITS Virginio Fasan (F591) was delivered to the Navy in 2013. The vessels, ITS Carlo Margottini (F592) was delivered in 2014, the ITS Carabiniere (F593) in 2015, the ITS Alpino (F594) in 2016, and the ITS Luigi Rizzo (F595) in 2017. The seventh vessel of the class, ITS Federico Martinengo (F596) will be commissioned into the Navy fleet this year.
The Italian program has been fully implemented with the option exercised in April 2015, regarding the construction of the ninth and tenth vessel, whose delivery is scheduled after 2020 and to be called ITS Spartaco Schergat (F598) and ITS Emilio Bianchi (F599) respectively once in service.
Orizzonte Sistemi Navali – OSN (51% Fincantieri, 49% Leonardo) acts as prime contractor for Italy in the initiative, while Armaris (Naval Group and Thales) is prime contractor for France.
Italy and France had earlier cooperated for the Orizzonte-class (Horizon-class) project that led to the construction of two new destroyers for the Italian Navy, ITS Andrea Doria (D553) and ITS Caio Duilio (D554).