Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri launched ‘Federico Martinengo’, the seventh Italian Navy FREM frigate, during a ceremony on March 4 at the Riva Trigoso shipyard in Genoa.
Federico Martinengo is the seventh of overall ten vessels in the Carlo Bergamini-class Fincantieri is to build for the Italian Navy.
Godmother of the ceremony was 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.
After the launch, fitting activities will continue in the Integrated naval shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia), with delivery scheduled in early 2018.
The 144-meter frigate will have a displacement of approximately 6,700 tonnes. Fincantieri said the vessel would be capable of reaching a speed of over 27 knots and would provide accommodation for a 200-person crew.
The FREMM program ships are set to replace the Lupo- and Maestrale-class frigates built by Fincantieri in the 1970s.
The vessels are being built 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).
Italy will build ten units in the class, four anti-submarine variants and six general-purpose variants, while France is yet to make a definite decision on the number of frigates. France initially intended to build 17 FREMM frigates but later cut the number to 11. In 2015, the country announced it would cut the number of FREMMs to 8 in order to be able to budget the new FTI Mid-Size frigates from 2023.
Federico Martinengo is the seventh FREMM Fincantieri has launched so far while the company’s French counterpart DCNS launched the fifth unit in September last year.