OCCAR Signs FREMM Research & Technology Projects Contract with NAVIRIS

The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) has signed the FREMM Research & Technology Projects Contract with NAVIRIS, on June 4.

NAVIRIS, a 50% joint venture by Italy’s Fincantieri and France’s Naval Group, was officially launched in January 2020 with the aim to strengthen the French – Italian cooperation for the shipbuilding industry and Navies as an evolution of an historical partnership. This is the first contract signed by NAVIRIS, that will be followed by other activities, thus increasing the number of common contracts managed by Italy and France in a fully cooperative approach.

As the first step in this new framework, the two Nations have committed themselves in the field of five common Research and Technology (R&T) projects, the objective of the contract signed today. The national naval procurement bodies, SEGREDIFESA NAVARM and DGA/DO, in the wake of the existing synergies acquired with the FREMM program, confirmed their intent to assign these activities to OCCAR through the FREMM Programme Division in Paris. The scope of the PD has thus been enlarged and this contract will be followed soon by a second one concerning preliminary studies for Horizon Mid-Life Upgrade.

OCCAR NAVIRIS Contract Signing
From left to right: Mr. Enrico BONETTI, NAVIRIS COO, Mr Matteo Bisceglia, OCCAR-EA Director, Mr. Claude CENTOFANTI, NAVIRIS CEO during the signature of the R&T Contract © OCCAR.

This R&T programme aims at delivering new capabilities, innovative tools and architectures for the Italian and French Navies and comprises five different projects as follows:

1) Fuel Cell System (FCS) project aimed at the development of a modular Fuel Cell System (FCS) suitable for marine applications;
2) Digital Ship Project for the development of warship simulation capabilities throughout its lifecycle in order to allow improving product reliability through ship simulation;
3) Energy Consumption Optimisation Project for the study of new architectures and equipment in order to improve the global efficiency of the electrical network and monitoring electrical consumption on board surface vessels;
4) The Logistic of the Future Project will focus on providing innovative technologies to the traditional supply chain, to obtain advantages during the full product life cycle in the Naval Vessels domain.
5) Winning a Sea State Project aimed at the development of innovative tools, methods and engineering solutions for surface ships to better perform in higher sea state.

The signature of this contract represents a particular success for OCCAR, the Participating States and their industries since it represents the first Project in the R&D environment integrated in OCCAR and it also witnesses the capability of the Organisation to manage collaborative defence Programmes throughout their entire life cycle following OCCAR’s Through Life Management approach.

Three sites of Naval Group will be involved in the projects – Nantes-Indret, Ollioules and Lorient, as well as its subsidiary SIREHNA – while, for Fincantieri, the sites of Genova and Trieste will work on the project, along with the subsidiaries Cetena and Seastema.

The OCCAR-EA Director, Matteo Bisceglia has stated ” I would like to thank France and Italy for their continued trust in the Organisation. I am sure that this contract with NAVIRIS is the first step of a long lasting successful cooperation.”

Claude Centofanti, CEO of Naviris, declared: “We are delighted that OCCAR has relied on us to participate to the Franco-Italian R&T program. This contract is the first step of more-to-come European projects, regarding not only joint research activities but also the upgrade of design and production process for the vessels destined to France, Italy and their export. We are enthusiastic to launch the activities of such a promising collaboration: the joint-venture Naviris will increasingly contribute to foster innovation and European leadership”.

Pierre-Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, declared: “I am very proud of the kick off of Naviris activities. Thanks to France, Italy and OCCAR, our joint-venture is able to launch a very ambitious R&T program for the coming three and a half years. The extraordinary skills and experience of Fincantieri and Naval Group will contribute to the long term technological advantage of our vessels. This dynamic will sustain the economic recovery of both our countries, Italy and France, in the aftermath of Covid-19 and will contribute to increase our Navies superiority. This R&T program is the first of many more to come. In addition to research projects, Naviris’ activities will soon encompass additional initiatives such as the Mid-Life Upgrade of the Horizon frigates”.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “Today we welcome the beginning of one of the most important projects we have worked on in recent years. We have long believed that the consolidation of the European naval industry represents one of the fundamental means, if not the main in terms of critical mass and synergies, to allow our continent not to be left on the sidelines and instead to play a pivotal role in the upcoming challenges worldwide”. Bono concluded: “On these grounds, we are grateful to the governments of our two countries for sharing the common vision and supporting the alliance between Naval Group and Fincantieri, which will mark the future of our sector”.

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