Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri held a steel cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction of the sixth multipurpose patrol ship (PPA) for the Italian Navy.
The ceremony for the sixth of overall seven Thaon di Revel-class ships on order took place at the shipbuilder’s Muggiano, La Spezia, shipyard on April 7.
PPA6 will be the third ship in the class built in the “Light plus” configuration, which is a “fitted for, but not with” approach that will see the ship receive missile firing capability, compared to artillery-only capability planned for the “Light” configuration. A third configuration will allow the ship to fight air surface and subsurface threats.
Fincantieri expects to launch PPA6 by the summer of 2023 and deliver it to the Italian Navy two years later, in 2025.
The shipbuilder has already launched the first three Pattugliatori Polivalenti d’Altura ships and is on track to deliver all seven units by 2027.
PPA ships measure 133 meters in length and can operate high-speed vessels such as RHIBs up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern. Powered by a combined diesel, a gas turbine plant (CODAG) and an electric propulsion system, the ships will have a top speed of over 31 knots and a crew of 171.