The number of Patrol Vessels for the Italian Navy rises to 7
Within the renewal plan of the Italian Navy’s fleet, whose first tranche started in the past months, OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms) has ordered the consortium (Raggruppamento Temporaneo di Impresa - RTI) consisting of Fincantieri, agent, and Finmeccanica, through its subsidiary Selex ES, principal, one more patrol vessel (PPA or Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship), activating the related contract option and merging the production in an immediately operational single-step transition.
Hence, the number of patrol vessels ordered to RTI rises to seven. The six previous ones were assigned in May, and other three units still are in option. The delivery of the first patrol vessel is expected in 2021. The delivery of the following patrol vessels is planned for 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), 2025 and 2026.
In addition to the seven PPAs, it is also planned the construction of one logistic support unit (LSS or Logistic Support Ship), and one multipurpose amphibious unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock), both already contractualised, the latter one through a public contract with the Italian Ministry of Defence.
The contracts assigned to RTI therefore reach a total amount of approx. 5.4 billion euros, of which Fincantieri’s share amounts to approx. 3.6 billion euros and the one of Finmeccanica to approx. 1.8 billion euros. The award of the operative contracts regarding the first tranche of the multi-year program for the renewal of the Navy’s Fleet (known as the "Defence Act") is thus completed.
The fundamental characteristic common to all three classes of ships is their high level of innovation providing them with a considerable degree of efficiency, flexibility and capability of re-configuration in serving different mission profiles. In particular, these are dual use vessels, meaning that they may be used for both standard military purposes and for civil protection and rescue at sea operations, and they also have a low environmental impact thanks to a state-of-the-art auxiliary propulsion system generating a low level of pollution emissions (electric engines) and biological waste control system.
The consortium (RTI) was established according to the cooperation agreement in the field of naval vessels construction signed in October 2014 between Fincantieri and Finmeccanica. Pursuant to the agreement, Fincantieri acts as a sole interface to the client, while enhancing Finmeccanica’s products range in the naval field. According to the agreement Finmeccanica is the design authority of the whole combat system.
In addition to building the vessels at its shipyards, Fincantieri will provide support over the lifecycle of the vessels in the first ten years, through the supply of logistic services (training courses, spare parts, technical documentation) during the construction of the vessels and of ISS or In Service Support (maintenance services), carried out during post-delivery operations, as well as components and naval machinery produced by the Marine Systems and Components Unit, such as shaft lines, wheelhouse, maneuvering propellers, fin stabilizers and other handling systems, the automation system and a part of the special supplies for PPAs delivered by the subsidiary Seastema S.p.A.
Finmeccanica will act as prime contractor for the combat systems through Selex ES that will develop and provide the new multi-functional radars (4 fixed arrays) dual-band X/C, last generation integrated communication systems, new electro-optical sensors, new fire control systems and innovative Open Architecture Combat Management System. Selex ES will also have the responsibility for all subsystems - included those newly developed by OTO Melara (76mm gun above deck), WASS (sonar array), MBDA (anti-ballistic missile system) and Elettronica (electronic warfare system) - and for the first 10-year logistic support (integrated and “in service” logistic support).
In addition, Selex ES and Fincantieri will develop together the innovative “Cockpit” system. This system will, for the first time ever, allow for the integrated management of sailing and combat system operations, using augmented reality to allow both functions to be effectively managed with fewer operators.
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PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship
The multipurpose offshore patrol ship is a highly flexible ship with capacity to serve multiple functions ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations, and in its most highly equipped version, first line fighting vessel. There will be indeed different configurations of combat system: starting from a “soft” version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defence ability, to a “full” one, equipped for a complete defence ability. The vessel is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.
- 132.5 meters long
- Speed more than 33 knots according to vessel configuration and operational conditions
- 171 persons of the crew
- Equipped with a combined diesel and gas turbine plant (CODAG)
- Capacity to supply drinking water to land
- Capacity to provide electricity to land with 2000 kw of power
- 2 modular zones at the stern and at the center of the ship that allow the embarking of various types of containerized operating/logistic/residential/healthcare modules (in particular, the stern area may receive and handle within a covered area up to 5 modules in ISO 20” containers, while the central zone may receive and handle up to 8 ISO 20” containers)
The PPAs will be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with delivery expected, for the first vessel of the class, in 2021, while the following deliveries of the vessels will take place in 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), 2025 and 2026.
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Fincantieri is one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups and number one by diversification and presence in all high value-added market sectors, having built more than 7,000 vessels in over 230 years of its maritime history. It is world leader in cruise ship construction and a reference player in other sectors, from naval vessels to cruise ferries, from mega-yachts to special high value-added vessels, from ship repairs and conversions to offshore vessels. Headquartered in Trieste (Italy), the Group has approximately 21,700 employees, of whom around 7,700 in Italy, and 21 shipyards in 4 continents. In 2013 the Group acquired VARD, a company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange that builds offshore support vessels for oil & gas exploration and production. Fincantieri has doubled in size to become the West's leading shipbuilder. Fincantieri operates in the United States through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG). This company, which serves important government customers, including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, has three shipyards (Marinette Marine, Bay Shipbuilding, Ace Marine), all located in the Great Lakes region. Fincantieri is present in the UAE with Etihad Ship Building, a joint venture set up with Al Fattan Ship Industries and Melara Middle East, to design, produce and sell different types of civilian and military ships as well as perform maintenance and refitting activities.
Finmeccanica is Italy’s leading manufacturer in the high technology sector and ranks among the top ten global players in Aerospace, Defence and Security. Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (FNC IM; SIFI.MI), in 2014 Finmeccanica generated revenues of about 14 billion Euro. With 273 locations and production facilities in 20 countries, Finmeccanica is a multinational and multicultural group which boasts a significant presence in four domestic markets: Italy, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Poland. Finmeccanica’s core business activities are in the following sectors: Helicopters (AgustaWestland), Defence Electronics and Security (Selex ES, DRS Technologies), Aeronautics (Alenia Aermacchi). The company also has a significant position in Space (Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space), Defence Systems (OTO Melara, WASS, MBDA) and Transportation (Ansaldo STS, AnsaldoBreda).