Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri held a keel laying ceremony for the Italian Navy’s new landing helicopter dock (LHD) at its Castellammare di Stabia shipyard on February 20.
Construction on the ship started with a steel cutting ceremony on July 12, 2017, and the delivery is expected for 2022.
The ship will be named ‘Trieste and is expected to replace the 180-meter-long aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi which has been in service since 1985.
The approx. 215 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 LHD is built under a contract signed between the Italian Navy and 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 LHD construction is part of a multi-year program for the renewal of the Italian Navy fleet worth 5.4 billion euros. In addition to the LHD unit, the program foresees construction of six patrol vessels, with four more in option, and one logistic support ship (LSS “Vulcano”).
The LHD will be equipped with a combined propulsion system diesel/electric and gas turbines (CODLOG) and will have a top speed of 25 knots, according to the shipbuilder.
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.