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Italian logistic support ship Vulcano takes to sea 17 months after fire outbreak

ITS Vulcano. Photo: OCCAR

The Italian Navy logistic support ship LSS Vulcano got underway for first at-sea trials in the Gulf of La Spezia on December 5.

The ship started the trials some 17 months after a major fire broke out in the engine room in July 2018, after having been launched a month earlier.

During the “first sea going”, several platform and combat systems installed onboard future ITS Vulcano were tested, especially the propulsion, steering and navigation systems.

Vulcano is expected to complete her sea trials by September 2020 and to be delivered to the Italian Navy that same month. The ship had initially been slated for delivery in 2019, but the deadline has been pushed back by the incident.

Italian shipbuilder Fincatieri was contracted for the construction of the ship in May 2015. The 193-meter-long vessel will be equipped with a hospital and healthcare capabilities with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist’s office and hospital rooms that will be capable of hosting up to 17 seriously injured patients.

The ship combines capacity to transport and transfer liquids (diesel fuel, jet fuel, fresh water) and solids (emergency spare parts, food and ammunitions) and to perform at sea repairs and maintenance work for other vessels.

According to Fincantieri, the defense systems are limited to command and control in tactical scenarios but the vessel is also capable of embarking more complex defense systems and becoming an intelligence and electronic warfare platform.

Vulcano is the first in its class with France set to build four additional vessels. The French units will be delivered by shipbuilder Naval Group under the Fincantieri design. Delivery of the first French ship is expected by the end of 2022.