Italian shipyard Fincantieri has a conducted steel cutting ceremony of the Italian Navy’s logistic support ship’s (LSS) stern section at the company’s shipyard in Riva Trigoso (Sestri Levante, Genoa) marking the start of construction works on the unit.

Construction of the vessel is a part of the Italian Navy’s €3.5bn fleet renewal plan contract, which was awarded to Fincantieri, Italian defence group Finmeccanica and Raggruppamento Temporaneo di Impresa (RTI) last year.

The contract will see construction of a total of seven naval vessels, including six multipurpose offshore patrol ships (PPA), with four more in options, as well as one transport and landing vessel.

"Work on the bow section will start on 16 February in Castellammare di Stabia shipyard."

After completion, the LSS’s stern section will be launched and ferried to the shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) to be assembled to set up the entire unit with the bow section.

Work on the bow section will start on 16 February in Castellammare di Stabia shipyard.

The 86m-long and 24m-wide stern section has a height of 16.3m and a displacement of 7,000t.

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Capable of cruising at a speed up to 20k, the 165m-long LSS will be classified by RINA pursuant international conventions about prevention of pollution as well as the MARPOL Convention and the Hong Kong Convention about ship recycling.

The LSS, apart from providing logistics support to the fleet, will also be deployed to perform search-and-rescue operation at sea; serve as based for rescue operations through helicopters and special vessels; perform maintenance and repair works at sea and as an intelligence and electronic war platform.

The LSS is expected to be delivered in 2019.