Today, Naviris, a 50/50 owned joint venture by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and its French counterpart Naval Group, has signed a contract with Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) for a feasibility study on the mid-life upgrade (MLU) of the four Horizon-class frigates.
Since its launching in January 2020, this contract is the second one Naviris has signed – after a R&T contract announced in June.
“We are very proud of the contract signature and would like to thank not only Naviris’ client – the OCCAR – but also Segredifesa and the French General Procurement Agency for the close Italo-French collaboration which made it possible to achieve this result in a reasonably short period of time, during an extraordinarily difficult period for organizing exchanges and collective work,” Giuseppe Bono and Claude Centofanti, Naviris’ Chairman and CEO respectively, commented.
As explained, the feasibility study, to be developed over the next twelve months, will be the first stage of the project and it will be focused mainly on the anti- air-warfare capability of the four vessels.
The project will be carried out by Naviris with the support of Fincantieri and Naval Group and the major combat system suppliers — Eurosam, Thales, Leonardo, MBDA and Sigen. It aims at identifying and analyzing the modifications to be implemented on the French and Italian Horizon-class destroyers to increase their capabilities until the end of their life cycle.
The objective is to offer configurations able to guarantee an appropriate response to the threat scenarios set out by the clients, according to Naviris.
The Horizon frigates were originally built between 2000 and 2010 in a joint program between Fincantieri and Naval Group, providing the Italian and French navies with two first-class anti-air frigates each.
Within this context, the coordinated work by seven industrial partners will answer to the need for the rationalization of the frigates’ performance, availability and maintenance.
The frigates feature a length of 153 meters, a width of 20.3 meters and have a displacement of 6,500/7,300 tons.
The vessels are designed for a range of missions, including high-intensity operations, all with reduced crewing. Horizon frigates are front-line fighting ships with one highly specialized mission — anti-air warfare, also known as air defence. The ships’ chief capabilities are thus airspace control over areas of operations, air defence command and control and anti-air cover for carrier groups and convoys.
Horizon frigates provide protection against high-intensity threats and attacks by anti-ship missiles. They also contribute to air/sea control during military operations by providing air defence command and control of allied forces. In addition, they can also participate in public service missions.