The Italian Navy has taken delivery of the logistic support ship LSS Vulcano from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri in a ceremony at the company’s Muggiano shipyard.
The ship was delivered after 15 months of sea trials and over two and a half years after a fire outbreak onboard.
Vulcano had initially been scheduled for delivery in 2019, but the fire outbreak in July 2018 severely impacted the delivery schedule.
The logistic support ship is part of a wider Italian Navy fleet renewal plan which will see Fincantieri also build a landing helicopter dock and a new class of multi-purpose vessels ranging in capability from offshore patrol assets to frigate-like surface combatants.
Landing helicopter dock Trieste will be delivered from the same shipyard in 2022, while the Pattugliatori Polivalenti d’Altura (PPA) multipurpose ships are expected to start entering the fleet this year.
It is worth noting that the Italian “Vulcano” project has been incorporated into the French FLOTLOG (“Flotte Logistique”) program, under which France will build four ships based on the Fincantieri design. The French tankers will be delivered by a temporary consortium between Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group under the Italian-French LSS program led by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation). In addition to providing the design, Fincantieri will build the forward sections of these ships.
The 193-meter-long ITS Vulcano 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) with four replenishment stations abeam and one astern.
It can perform at sea repairs and maintenance work for other vessels and has a 30-ton stabilized crane for rescues at sea and seabed operations. Additional features include a capability to supply drinking water and electricity to land.
Fincantieri says the ship’s 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.