The Italian Navy has received its first FREMM (fregata multi-missione) frigate, one of ten ultimately set to be pressed into service. Named the Carlo Bergamini, the Italian Navy's initial FREMM frigate is now at La Spezia shipyard.
Ultimately, 10 FREMMs will join the Italian Navy, while 11 more will join the French Navy.
The multipurpose FREMM is a joint French/Italian collaboration between DCNS and Fincantieri. Designed to work in the anti-submarine, anti-ship and anti-aircraft roles, it's being built in several versions optimised for particular nations' requirements but all FREMMs are equipped with an Otobreda 76mm Super Rapid gun, MU 90 torpedoes, a SLAT anti-torpedo system and a landing pad able to accommodate a single NHIndustries NH90 helicopter.
Italian Navy FREMM
The Italian Navy is reequipping with two FREMM versions: a general-purpose frigate and a model that specialises in anti-submarine warfare.
Work on the Carlo Bergamini began in February 2008 and the vessel was launched in July 2011. The Carlo Bergamini is the Italian Navy's lead FREMM frigate and will be followed into service by the Virginio Fasan, the Carlo Margottini, the Carabiniere, the Alpino, the Luigi Rizzo and four more as yet-unnamed frigates.
144 metres long and 19.7 metres wide, the Carlo Bergamini FREMM displaces 6,500 tons of water in its heaviest configuration, can travel at up to 27 knots and can accommodate a maximum of 145 naval personnel. Its armament includes the SAAM Aster 15 missile system and Teseo Mk2 anti-ship missiles, while on the systems side it boasts an EMPAR G-band multifunction phase array radar and Galileo Avionica SASS (silent acquisition surveillance system) technology.
The Italian Navy's FREMM frigates are the replacements for its now-ageing Maestrale and Lupo-class frigates, which are due to be phased out by 2021.
The Italian Navy's other equipment includes a pair of aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, destroyers and attack submarines. The naval arm is also one of the AV-8B Harrier II's operators, alongside the Spanish Navy and the US Marine Corps.