Italian Navy Renews Fleet with $1.2bn Contract

Image: San Giusto, Landing Helicopter Dock Currently in Service with Italian Navy
Image: San Giusto, Landing Helicopter Dock Currently in Service with Italian Navy. "San Giusto L9894" by Eugenio Castillo http://www.losbarcosdeeugenio.com/barcos/es/mmi_L9894.html. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Published Jul 2, 2015 3:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Italian Navy placed an order for a new 1.1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) Landing Helicopter Dock, which will be added to its fleet in 2022.

The order is part of the Defense Act, a multi-year program for the renewal of the Navy’s fleet. In total the program employs a total funding of 5.4 billion euros ($6 billion) and, in addition to the LHD unit, it will see the construction of six patrol vessels, with an option for four more, and one logistic support unit. 

Italian shipbuilding giant Fincantieri and technology manufacturer Finmeccanica will share in the contract, which amounts to an 853 million euro ($945 million) and 273 million euro ($301 million) split respectively between the two companies.

The unit will be approx. 200 meters (656 feet) long with a maximum speed of 25 knots. It will feature a combined diesel and gas turbine plant (CODOG) and will be able to accommodate on board over 1,000 people.

Equipped with wide embarkment areas of about 4500 square meters (48,000 square feet) within dock-garage and hangar-garage and a continuous open deck, able to receive wheeled vehicles of various kinds, containers and helicopters, the unit can perform several military and civil missions. 

On board there will be a fully equipped hospital, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist’s office, and a hospital rooms capable of hosting 28 seriously injured patients (further admissions are possible through duly equipped container modules). 

Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer, Giuseppe Bono, commented, “the announcement of this additional unit completes the first part of the renewal of our Navy’s Fleet, one of the world’s most significant defense programs of the last years. We are extremely satisfied and excited to be leaders of such an important project, both technically and industrially.”

Fundamental characteristics common to this new ship as well as the logistics and patrol vessels are a considerable degree of efficiency and flexibility 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. 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.