Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri held a steel cutting ceremony for the Italian Navy’s multipurpose amphibious unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock) at its Castellammare di Stabia shipyard on July 12.
The approx. 200 meters long LHD will have a maximum speed of 25 knots and will be equipped with a combined diesel and gas turbine plant (CODOG).
The Italian LHD is built under a contract signed with Fincantieri and Finmeccanica in July 2015. The total value of the contract is over 1.1 billion euros, with Fincantieri’s share amounting to approx. 853 million euros and Finmeccanica’s to about 273 million euros. The delivery of the unit is scheduled for 2022.
It is part of a multi-year program for the renewal of the Navy’s fleet worth 5.4 billion euros. In addition to the LHD unit, the program foresees the construction of six patrol vessels, with four more in option, and one logistic support ship (LSS “Vulcano”).
The ship’s main mission will be the transport of people, vehicles such as the small LCM landing craft units with a load capacity up to 60 tons, four of which can be admitted, launched, and recovered through a flooded basin, located on the stern of the vessel.
The LHD will also feature 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.