Home Europe Italy wrapping up FREMM program with launch of tenth and final frigate

Italy wrapping up FREMM program with launch of tenth and final frigate

Launch of FREMM frigate Emilio Bianchi
Photo: OCCAR

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri launched the tenth and final FREMM frigate at its shipyard in Riva Trigoso on January 25, marking an important step in the completion of the Italian Navy’s frigate program.

The warship has been named after Emilio Bianchi, an Italian military frogman who served during World War II.

The ship has been launched with combat system and platform equipment already installed on board and fully integrated. Just after the ceremony, the ship will be moved to the Fincantieri‘s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) where it is expected to start sea trials by next June.

The ship will be delivered to Italian Navy in March 2020, after the completion of the last outfitting activities.

Bianchi is one of six general purpose variants of the frigate. Italy has an additional four units in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) configuration.

France, who has partnered with Italy on the program, has ordered six ASW-configured frigates and two configured for air defense. The final French FREMM unit is scheduled for delivery in 2022.

The 144-meter frigates entering Italian Navy service are equipped with the KRONOS Grand Naval multi-function active radar, IFF SIR-M5-PA secondary radar and RAN-30X/I air and surface surveillance, LPI SPN-730 navigation radar and SPN-720 for helicopter precision approach, SASS (Silent Acquisition and Surveillance system) infrared tracking system and, finally, equipped with two multi-sensors (radar and electro-optical) for NA-25X fire control.

They feature two 76/62 mm Super Rapid guns that use the DART guided ammunition for tracking targets, an anti-mine sonar, acoustic decoys for torpedo defense and the MU90 lightweight torpedo launching system.

They also have 16-cell vertical launch systems for the launch of Aster 15 and 30 missiles.