Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri's Riva Trigoso (Genoa) shipyard has launched the Alpino frigate, which is the fifth of ten Frégate Européen multimission (FREMM) vessels being built for the Italian Navy.
Built as part of the framework of an Italo-French programme of cooperation, they will replace the navy's ageing Fincantieri-built Lupo and Maestrale-class ships.
Set for delivery next year in Muggiano (La Spezia), Alpino will have a high-degree of flexibility and the potential to operate in all strategic conditions.
The 144m-long, 6,700t ship has a beam of 19.7m and can cruise at a maximum speed of over 27k. It can accommodate approximately 200 crew members.
Orizzonte Sistemi Navali is the prime contractor for Italy on the FREMM programme (51% Fincantieri and 49% Finmeccanica). The joint venture Armaris, between DCNS and Thales, is the main contractor for France.
The Italian versions of the FREMM vessels will feature the SAAM Aster 15 missile system, Teseo Mk2 sea-skimming anti-ship missiles and MBDA's Milas all-weather weapon system.
They will also be armed with an EMPAR G-band multifunction phased-array radar and Galileo Avionica silent acquisition surveillance system, which acts as an infrared search and track system.
In June, Fincantieri started the construction on the seventh FREMM frigate.