The Italian Navy's sixth Frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) vessel, ITS Luigi Rizzo, has sailed out to sea from Fincantieri shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) for the first time to begin its maiden sea trials.
The sea trials will continue until the conclusion of the ship's outfitting phase. The frigate is scheduled to be delivered to the Italian Navy in early 2017.
The FREMM multi-mission ship programme is a joint cooperation agreement that was established in late 2002 between France and Italy.
The programme is under the coordination of Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l'Armement (OCCAR), the international organisation for cooperation on arms.
Orizzonte Sistemi Navali and Armaris, a joint venture between DCNS and Thales, is serving as the prime contractors for the FREMM programme.
Under the contract, ten frigates will be built for the Italian navy and 11 vessels for the French Navy.
The ITS Luigi Rizzo is the second General Purpose (GP) version vessel and was launched in December 2015 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Riva Trigoso, Genoa, Italy.
With a full load displacement capacity of approximately 6,700t, the 144m-long frigate can achieve a speed of more than 27k and can accommodate a crew of 200 people.
The FREMM frigates can be deployed for a range of missions, including patrol service, monitoring migration influx and shipping control, combat terrorism counter-piracy operations, supporting humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief missions, including civil protection and support for cultural heritage.
Image: ITS Luigi Rizzo commences sea trials. Photo: courtesy of Ministero Della Difesa.