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OCCAR seals Horizon class frigates upgrade deal for France & Italy.

| 2023

In a significant ceremony held on July 18, 2023, at the premises of the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR-EA), a pivotal contract was signed, marking the onset of the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) for the Horizon class frigates of France and Italy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the Horizon class frigates. (Picture source: Fincantieri)

The €1.5 billion contract was signed by Mr. Joachim Sucker, OCCAR Director, on behalf of French and Italian procurement agencies DGA and SEGREDIFESA/NAVARM. EUROSAM and NAVIRIS, represented by their leaders, were the other signatories to the agreement.

The contract follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the nations signed on June 20, 2023. It stipulates significant enhancements for the Horizon class vessels — "Andrea Doria", "Caio Duilio", "Forbin", and "Chevalier Paul", which are set to be delivered by 2030.

The upgrades will primarily be in the domains of Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) and Electronic Warfare (EW). In addition to hardware improvements, the project will focus on optimizing the initial In-Service Support (ISS) for shared activities and capitalizing on the benefits of cooperative procurement practices.

The event marks an important milestone in the ongoing naval collaboration between France and Italy. Multiple entities, including OCCAR, Naviris, Eurosam, Fincantieri, Naval Group, Thales, Leonardo, MBDA, SIGEN, along with the French and Italian Navy General Staffs and their national naval procurement organizations, are jointly engaged in this project.

Technical data

The ship, with a full load displacement of 7,050 tonnes (6,940 long tons; 7,770 short tons), and a light displacement of 5,290 tonnes (5,206 long tons; 5,831 short tons), measures 152.87 meters (501 ft 7 in) in overall length (LOA) and 141.7 meters (465 ft) between perpendiculars (LPP). The ship's beam is 20.3 meters (67 ft), with a draught of 5.4 meters (18 ft) and a depth of 11.8 meters (39 ft).

The ship is powered by a Combined Diesel Or Gas (CODOG) scheme, consisting of two GE/Avio General Electric LM2500Plus TAG each producing 20,500 kW (27,491 hp), and two SEMT Pielstick 12PA6 STC diesel engines each producing 4,320 kW (5,793 hp).

Power generation is supplemented by four Isotta Fraschini V1716T2ME diesel engine generators, each with an output of 1,600 kW (2,146 hp). The ship features two shafts and a bow thruster.

The ship's maximum speed exceeds 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph). It has a range of 6,100 nautical miles (11,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h), or 3,500 nmi (6,480 km) at a speed of 25 knots (46 km/h).

In terms of accommodation, the Italian configuration allows for 255 people in cabins with 1, 2 or 4 beds. The crew complement is 236, including 195 base crew members, 13 flight staff, and 18 others.

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