Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has started work on the 12th FREMM frigate in the series at its Riva Trigoso shipyard in Genoa.
While the frigate will be the 12th unit to be built by the company, it will actually be the 10th unit to enter Italian Navy service.
The original ninth and tenth ships for the Italian Navy, originally named Spartaco Schergat and Emilio Bianchi, were sold to Egypt and promptly delivered by the shipbuilder under a $1.3 billion contract.
Shortly after the delivery of the FREMMs to Egypt, Fincantieri began work on replacement hulls for the Italian Navy and is expected to deliver the new ships by late 2025.
The first steel cutting ceremony for the twelfth FREMM, which marks the official start of construction, took place on October 12. The replacement ships remain unnamed, which will likely change during their christening ceremonies.
The last two Italian units will be built in the general purpose (GP) version, with an updated release of several systems. Once deliveries are completed, the Italian Navy will have six general purpose and four anti-submarine warfare variants.
The 144-meter frigates in 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.
In addition Italy, the FREMM frigates are also operated by the French Navy, which is a partner in the program alongside French shipbuilder Naval Group, who has also delivered a FREMM frigate to Egypt – the Tahya Misr. Other operators include Morocco, and Indonesia, with a six-unit order from earlier this year.
The US Navy’s new generation of Constellation-class frigates will also be based on the FREMM design.