Fincantieri Launches Tenth Multipurpose Frigate “Emilio Bianchi” for Italian Navy

28.05.2024 Europe
Fincantieri Launches Tenth Multipurpose Frigate “Emilio Bianchi” for Italian Navy

Fincantieri Launches Tenth Multipurpose Frigate “Emilio Bianchi” for Italian Navy

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The launching ceremony of the frigate “Emilio Bianchi,” the last in a series of 10 FREMM - European Multi Mission Frigates - units commissioned from Fincantieri by the Italian Navy under the Italian-French international cooperation agreement, under the coordination of OCCAR, the joint organization for European cooperation in armaments, was held on 25 May 2024 at the Riva Trigoso integrated shipyard.

Godmother of the launch was Mrs. Maria Elisabetta Bianchi, daughter of Gold Medalist for Military Valor Emilio Bianchi.

The ceremony was held in the presence of the Navy’s Chief of Staff, Admiral Enrico Credendino, who was welcomed by the President of Fincantieri, General Claudio Graziano, and the General Manager of Fincantieri’s Military Ships Division, Dario Deste. Among others, the President of the Regional Council, Gianmarco Medusei, the Director of the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), Joachim Sucker, and civil and military authorities also attended.

Following the launch, the unit will continue outfitting activities at the Muggiano shipyard in La Spezia and will be delivered in 2025. “Emilio Bianchi” will be characterized, like the other FREMMs, by high deployment flexibility and will have the ability to operate in all tactical situations. It has a length of 144 meters, a width of 19.7 meters and a full load displacement of about 6,700 tons and will be able to reach a speed of more than 27 knots with a maximum capacity of about 200 embarked personnel.

In the naval defense sector, FREMM - European Multi Mission Frigate is the most important joint initiative developed among European industries. The FREMM program, which represents the state of the art in Italian and European defense, stems from the need to renew the line of Navy units, including the “Lupo” and “Maestrale” classes, built by Fincantieri in the 1970s and 1980s.

Carlo Bergamini was delivered in 2012, Virginio Fasan in 2013, Carlo Margottini in 2014, Carabiniere in 2015, Alpino in 2016, Luigi Rizzo in 2017, Federico Martinengo in 2018, Antonio Marceglia in 2019, and Spartaco Schergat currently under construction at the Muggiano factory and whose delivery is scheduled for April 2025.

Head of the 3rd Palombaro Class Emilio Bianchi - Golden Medal for Military Value

Born in Sondalo (Sondrio) on October 22, 1912. Volunteered in the Regia Marina since March 1932 and assigned to the category of Diver, he attended the Specialization Course at the C.R.E.M. School in Varignano (La Spezia) and at the end embarked on the hydrographic ship Ammiraglio Magnaghi, with which he then completed two hydrographic cruises in the Aegean and Red Sea.

In 1934 he embarked on the cruiser Fiume, where he attained promotion to second-in-command, and in 1936 he was assigned to the 1st Submarine Group in La Spezia. Achieving promotion to sergeant in 1937, he went on to operate in the 1st MAS Flotilla, beginning the training that was later to make him an Operator of Underwater Assault Craft.

During the conflict he participated, in the rank of 2nd Chief, in the two attempts to force the British base of Gibraltar (October and November 1940), then in the daring force of the base of Alexandria as 2nd Operator of the SLC (pig) No. 221 led by Lieutenant of the Navy Luigi Durand de La Penne.

He departed from aboard the submarine Sciré on the night of December 18, and after passing the barrages penetrated with his chief operator inside the harbor and brought his explosive craft under the keel of the British battleship Valiant, which, due to the blast, sank at dawn on December 19.

Stricken en route by oxygen intoxication, due to the extremely hard exertion he had to make during the five-hour dive, forced to surface, after some time he was discovered by the sentries on board and, together with his commander, locked up in a shipboard room located in the immediate vicinity of the santabarbara. Fortuitously rescued after the outbreak of the charge, which caused the ship to sink, he was taken to a concentration camp and repatriated at the end of the conflict.

Promoted for war merits to Chief of 3rd Class and 2nd Class, in 1954, by choice, he achieved promotion to Chief of 1st Class Diver. In the rank of C.E.M.M. Officer, he subsequently served at the Varignano Diving Center, the Demining Unit in Genoa and finally at the Naval Academy in Livorno, ending his career in the rank of Lieutenant Commander (CS).

Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups, the only one active in all high-tech marine industry sectors. It is leader in the construction and transformation of cruise, naval and oil & gas and wind offshore vessels, as well as in the production of systems and component equipment, after-sales services and marine interiors solutions. Thanks to the expertise developed in the management of complex projects, the Group boasts first-class references in infrastructures, and is a reference player in digital technologies and cybersecurity, electronics and advanced systems.

With over 230 years of history and more than 7,000 ships built, Fincantieri maintains its know-how, expertise and management centres in Italy, here employing 10,000 workers and creating around 90,000 jobs, which double worldwide thanks to a production network of 18 shipyards operating in four continents and with almost 21,000 employees. (Photo: Emilio Bianchi prior to launching © Italian Navy)




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