The launching ceremony of the “Federico Martinengo” frigate, the seventh of a series of 10 FREMM vessels - Multi Mission European Frigates - took place on 04 March at the Riva Trigoso shipyard in Genoa, Italy.
The 10 FREMM vessels have been commissioned to Fincantieri by the Italian Navy within the framework of an Italo-French cooperation program under the coordination of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms).
Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Mina De Caro, widow of Giuseppe Porcelli, Commander of the “Scirocco” frigate, who lost his life in 1997 during operational activities held within NATO naval forces in the Mediterranean.
The ceremony was attended, among others by General Claudio Graziano, Chief of Defence, Admiral Valter Girardelli, Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Giovanni Toti, Governor of the Liguria Region, and Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri.
After the launching, fitting activities will continue in the Integrated naval shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia), with delivery scheduled in early 2018. The “Federico Martinengo” vessel, like the other units, will feature a high degree of flexibility, capable of operating in all tactical situations. 144 metres long with a beam of 19.7 metres, the ship will have a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes. The “Federico Martinengo” will have a maximum speed of over 27 knots and will provide accommodation for a 200-person crew.
The FREMM program, representing the European and Italian defence state of the art, stems from the renewal need of the Italian Navy line “Lupo” (already removed) and “Maestrale” (close to the attainment of operational limit) class frigates, both built by Fincantieri in the 1970s.
The vessels “Carlo Bergamini” and “Virginio Fasan” have been delivered in 2013, the “Carlo Margottini” in 2014, the “Carabiniere” in 2015 and the “Alpino” in 2016. The Italian program has been fully implemented with the option exercised in April 2015, regarding the construction of the ninth and tenth vessel, whose delivery is scheduled after 2020.
Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri, 49% Finmeccanica) acts as prime contractor for Italy in the initiative, while Armaris (DCNS + Thales) is prime contractor for France.
This cooperation has applied the positive experience gained in the previous Italo-French program “Orizzonte” that has led to the construction for the Italian Navy of the two frigates ”Andrea Doria” and “Caio Duilio”.