Fincantieri launched the Italian Navy’s tenth and last FREMM multipurpose frigate, ITS Emilio Bianchi (F589), at its integrated shipyard in Riva Trigoso on Jan. 25.
The ship has been launched with the combat system and platform equipment already installed onboard and fully integrated. She will now be moved to the Fincantieri‘s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) where, within next June, sea trials will start to test her performances. The ship will be delivered to the Italian Navy in March 2020, after the completion of the last outfitting activities.
The warship has been named after Emilio Bianchi, an Italian military frogman during World War II and the Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs Maria Elisabetta Bianchi, daughter of the recipient of the Military Valour Gold Medal.
The launching of ITS Bianchi was performed in accordance with the scheduled timeline and represents another major achievement of the OCCAR management, with the involvement of the French and Italian Naval Directorates.
The vessel is 144 metres long with a beam of 19.7 metres and has a displacement of approximately 6,700 tonnes at full load. It has a maximum speed of over 27 knots and will provide accommodation for a 200-person crew.
ITS Emilio Bianchi is the sixth Italian Navy FREMM frigate in General Purpose (GP) configuration. In this version, the most relevant features are the 127/64 caliber main gun and the presence of a stern slide necessary for launching fast inflatable boats for the special forces operations.
The launch represents another significant milestone for the FREMM (“European multi-purpose frigate”; French: Frégate européenne multi-mission; Italian: Fregata europea multi-missione) programme in the framework of a joint Italian-French cooperation programme managed by the OCCAR (Organisation conjointe de coopération en matière d’armement, Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) FREMM Programme Division and the Italian Naval Directorate (NAVARM).
Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri, 49% Leonardo) acts as prime contractor for Italy in the initiative, while Armaris (Naval Group + Thales) is the prime contractor for France. In France, the class is known as the Aquitaine class, while in Italy they are known as the Bergamini class.
The FREMM programme is fast rushing toward its completion since ITS Bianchi is the tenth and last Frigate to be launched for the Italian Navy.
The vessels ITS Carlo Bergamini and ITS Virginio Fasan have been delivered in 2013, the ITS Carlo Margottini in 2014, the ITS Carabiniere in 2015, the ITS Alpino in 2016, the ITS Luigi Rizzo in 2017, the ITS Federico Martinengo in 2018, and the ITS Antonio Marceglia in 2019.