Fincantieri has laid the keel on the Italian Navy’s multipurpose amphibious Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) at its shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia, marking the commencement of slipway works on the unit.
The approximately 215m-long LHD will be primarily deployed to transport personnel, vehicles and loads of different kinds once completed.
The multipurpose amphibious unit is set to have a maximum speed of 25k and will be integrated with a combined propulsion system diesel / electric and gas turbines (CODLOG).
It will also be equipped with wide internal embarkment areas of nearly 4500m2 within the dock-garage and hangar-garage.
In addition, the LHD will feature a continuous open deck to receive different types of wheeled vehicles, containers and helicopters, allowing it to carry out a wide range of military and civil missions.
For military use, the unit can be deployed to carry out transport and landing of troupes, military vehicles and logistic equipment in both equipped and non-equipped areas.
The unit’s internal ramps and elevators are intended to manage cargo handling, while the stern and side ramps will help manage cargo security.
Furthermore, the LHD will feature a fully equipped hospital with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, and a dentist’s office.
It will also feature hospital room capable of accommodating up to 28 seriously injured patients.
The LHD has been approved by the Italian Government and Parliament and initial construction works began in May 2015.
It is currently slated for delivery in 2022.
The unit’s development forms part of the Italian maritime defence sector’s wider naval programme.