Fincantieri has launched the Italian Navy’s newest Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), Trieste, during a ceremony at its shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia on May 25.
The launching ceremony was attended by Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic; Giampiero Massolo, Fincantieri’s Chairman; and Giuseppe Bono, the company’s CEO. Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Laura Mattarella, daughter of the Italian President.
The ceremony was also attended, among others, by the Italian Minister of Economic Development, of Labour and Social Policies and Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio and the Italian Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta, the Governor of Campania Vincenzo De Luca, the Chief of Defence Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli and the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy Adm. Valter Girardelli.
Trieste is a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) capable of deploying aircraft and amphibious vehicles and equipment, relying on a flight deck, and a well deck located on the stern of the ship. The ship will be delivered to the Navy in 2022 and falls within the naval program of the maritime capability of Defence, approved by the Italian Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 (Naval Act).
The vessel is approx. 214 meters long and has a displacement of around 33.000 tonnes. It will be equipped with a Combined Diesel Electric Or Gas (CODLOG) propulsion system for a maximum speed of 25 knots and an additional electric propulsion system to be used for low speed sailing, in line with the Italian Navy’s environmental policy.
With over 1,000 sleeping accommodations, the new LHD will feature a 230-metre long helicopter flight deck, allowing the operation of a battalion consisting of 600 personnel, and a dock-garage for 1,200 linear metres of wheeled and tracked vehicles, both civilian and military.
The flight deck will be capable to accommodate heavy and medium helicopters (EH101/AgustaWestland AW101 and NH90 respectively) and F-35B Lightning II Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) stealth fighter aircraft.
The well deck – 50 metres long and 15 metres wide – will enable the ship to deploy the most technically advanced amphibious equipment and vehicles of EU and NATO Navies. This include amphibious landing vessels such as LCM (new Cantieri Navali Vittoria LCM23 type), LCAC, L-CAC and newer L-CAT (Landing Catamaran).
The different areas of cargo securing are accessible through cranes, stern and side ramps, and cargo handling will be managed by internal ramps and elevators.
A fully equipped hospital will also be available onboard, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist’s office, and patient rooms capable of hosting 27 seriously injured patients (further admissions are possible through duly equipped container modules).
Thanks to her characteristics in terms of construction and weapon systems, the LHD “Trieste” will be able to project the landing force of the Italian Navy in crisis areas and support the Defence national capability projection from the sea, as well as to ensure the strategic transport of vehicles, personnel and equipment, and to support the Civil Protection in providing assistance to countries and populations in case of natural disasters, thanks to her capability to provide drinking water, power supply, healthcare and medical support.
The ship has also been conceived to carry out command and control functions in case of emergencies at sea, evacuation of nationals and humanitarian assistance operations.