Italy could sell the final two of its ten FREMM frigates to Egypt, the country’s foreign affairs minister and the CEO of shipbuilder Fincantieri have confirmed.
The confirmation came after a number of reports indicated a deal for the ninth ship in the class, Spartaco Schergat, and the recently-launched Emilio Bianchi was on the table.
The two ships were intended for the Italian Navy and were built in a “general purpose” configuration. Italy initially planned to have six general purpose and four anti-submarine warfare (ASW) configured ships.
According to reports, the ships could be sold at a price of $1.3 billion, and would leave the Italian Navy with an option for acquiring two further ASW-oriented ships.
Egypt is expected to make an announcement on the frigate buy on April 25, on the anniversary of the liberation of Sinai. The country already operates one FREMM frigate, the Tahya Misr, which was delivered by French shipbuilder Naval Group, Fincantieri’s partner in the FREMM frigate program that is coordinated by OCCAR.
The 144-meter frigates entering Italian Navy service 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.
FREMM frigates are also in service with the navies of France and Morocco.