Fincantieri and Finmeccanica and Raggruppamento Temporaneo di Impresa (RTI) have secured a joint €3.5bn ($4bn) contract to build a total of seven naval vessels for the Italian Navy as part of its fleet renewal programme.

Under the contract, the companies will construct one logistic support ship (LSS), six multipurpose offshore patrol ships (PPA), with four more in options, as well as one transport and landing vessel.

The Italian Navy will deploy the vessels for both standard military purposes and for civil protection and rescue at sea operations.

Awarded by the Organization Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement (OCCAR), the international organisation for cooperation on arms, the contract will be carried out in different phases.

OCCAR has already commenced the first construction phase of the first PPA and the logistic support vessel and the next phases for other units are planned to start in the upcoming months.

"These developments ensure that the Italian Navy’s ships are at the cutting-edge of new technology."

Fincantieri will be responsible for providing support for the vessels over the first ten years, while Finmeccanica, through its subsidiary Selex ES, will serve as the prime contractor for all of the new naval units’ combat systems.

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In addition to providing sensors such as the new multi-functional radar, Selex will be responsible for all subsystems, including those provided by OTO Melara, WASS, MBDA and Elettronica, as part of the contract.

Finmeccanica chief executive officer and general manager Mauro Moretti said: "These developments ensure that the Italian Navy’s ships are at the cutting-edge of new technology, and at the forefront of the international market, where Finmeccanica has an established presence and is recognised by the customer."

The consortium is scheduled to deliver the logistic support vessel in 2019 and the first patrol vessel in 2021, while the other patrol vessels are planned for delivery from 2022 to 2025.

Image: Illustration of logistic support ship for the Italian Navy. Photo: courtesy of Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR).