The launching ceremony of the frigate Luigi Rizzo, the sixth of a series of 10 FREMM vessels - Multi Mission European Frigates – took place yesterday (Dec19) at the Riva Trigoso shipyard in Genoa, Italy.
The 10 FREMM vessels have been commissioned to Fincantieri by the Italian Navy 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). Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Maria Guglielmina Rizzo, daughter of Luigi Rizzo, two Gold Medals of Military Valor.
The ceremony was attended among others by, Giovanni Toti, Governor of Liguria, Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy and the CEO of Fincantieri Giuseppe Bono. After the launching, fitting activities will continue in the Integrated naval shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia), with delivery scheduled in early 2017. The Luigi Rizzo vessel will feature a high degree of flexibility, capable of operating in all tactical situations. 144 metres long with a beam of 19.7 metres, the ship will have a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes.
The Luigi Rizzo will have a maximum speed of over 27 knots and will provide accommodation for a 200-person crew. The ships of the FREMM program represent the state of the art of the European and Italian defence and will replace the Lupo and Maestrale class frigates built by Fincantieri in the 1970s.
The vessels Carlo Bergamini and Virginio Fasan have been delivered in 2013, the Carlo Margottini in 2014, the Carabiniere in 2015, while the delivery of the Alpino is scheduled in 2016. With the option exercised last April for the construction of the ninth and tenth vessel, whose delivery is scheduled after 2020, the Italian program has been fully implemented. Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri, 49% Finmeccanica) acts as prime contractor for Italy in the initiative, while Armaris (DCNS + Thales) is prime contractor for France.
This cooperation has applied the positive experience gained in the previous Italo-French program Orizzonte that has led to the construction for the Italian Navy of the two frigates Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio.