ROME — The Italian Navy has added an extra ship to its contract for multimission vessels from Italian industry, taking its order to seven.

Finmeccanica and Fincantieri, which have teamed for the contract, said on WednesdayNov. 11 they had received the extra order from European contracting agency Occar.

The original, six-ship order, signed in May, envisaged four options. The seventh vessel constituted one of the options, but would be built at the same time as the original orders, the firms said.

The Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ships, known by their Italian acronym PPA, will be delivered in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), 2025 and 2026. The ships will be built thanks to a funding package that also covers a new logistics ship and a new LHD vessel, for a total of €5.4 billion (US $5.8 billion)euros, with shipyard Fincantieri winning contracts worth €3.6 billion and Finmeccanica €1.8 billion. euros.

Fincantieri, which will act as liaison with the Italian Navy, will also provide 10ten years of logistic support and training will provide support over the life-cycle of the vessels in the first 10ten years, through the supply of logistic services (training courses, spare parts, technical documentation) during the construction of the vessels and of ISS or in-service support (maintenance services), carried out during post-delivery operations. It will also provide as well as components and naval machinery produced by the Marine Systems and Components Unit, such as shaft lines, wheelhouse and maneuvering propellers.

Finmeccanica unit Selex will supply systems, including the four fixed-array, multi-functional radars and oversee gun supplied by Oto Melara, a WASS sonar array, MBDA missiles and an electronic warfare package from Elettronica.

The ships will feature different versions of the combat system, from a "soft" version for patrol missions, up to full combat. The ships will also be able to deploy inflatable vessels up to 11 meters long using lateral cranes or a stern ramp.

The vessel is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boats up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.

In its statement, the firms gave the PPA's length as 132.5 meters and speed as more than 33 knots, depending on configuration. That suggests blueprints have changed since May, when the length was given as 129 meters and speed as "over 31 knots."


Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.

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