In the framework of this plan, OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms) has signed the order of the contractual performance for the construction of six patrol vessels (PPA, or Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship), with four more in option, and for one logistic support unit (LSS or Logistic Support Ship) with the consortium (Raggruppamento Temporaneo di Impresa - RTI) consisting of Fincantieri, agent, and Finmeccanica, through its subsidiary Selex ES, principal.
The value of the contracts for the seven units is approx. 3.5 billion Euros, of which Fincantieri’s share amounts to approx. 2.3 billion Euros and the one of Finmeccanica to about 1.2 billion Euros.
The contracts provide different activation phases. Today OCCAR has started Phase 1 for the construction of the first PPA and the logistic support unit for a total value of 372 million Euros, of which Fincantieri’s share amounts to 220 million Euros and Finmeccanica’s one to 152 million Euros. The activation of the next phases concerning the other units is expected to take place in the upcoming months.
The delivery of the logistic support unit is scheduled for 2019, while the first patrol vessel is expected to be delivered in 2021. The delivery of the following patrol vessels is planned for 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units) and 2025.
In general, this multi-year program for the renewal of the Navy’s fleet (known as the “Defence Act”) will employ a total funding of 5.4 billion Euros and foresees the construction, in addition to the aforementioned units, of one transport and landing unit (LHD) through a public contract with the Italian Ministry of Defence currently being finalized. In particular:
- one logistic support unit (LSS or Logistic Support Ship)
- six patrol vessels (PPA, or Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship) and four more in option
- one transport and landing unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock)
The fundamental characteristic common to all three classes of ships is their high level of innovation providing them with a considerable degree of efficiency and flexibility in serving different mission profiles.
The consortium (RTI) was established according to the cooperation agreement in the field of naval vessels construction signed last October between Fincantieri and Finmeccanica. 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, through Selex ES, will act as prime contractor for all of the new naval units' combat systems. Selex ES will provide sensors, such as the new multi-functional radar, and will also take on responsibility for all subsystems, included those provided by OTO Melara, WASS, MBDA and Elettronica.
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.
Photo: Italian FREMM Frigate Bergamini