The launch of the [bow] section of logistic support ship (LSS) “Vulcano” has taken place today at Castellammare di Stabia. The upgrading of the Italian Navy fleet, provided for by the “Naval Law” strongly supported by the Government, includes a number of new ships. “An extraordinary job: we will continue to support the requirements of the Navy and of our country, thus fostering development at national level”, the Minister said.
"I'm proud to be here. This ship epitomizes the cleverness, working spirit and deftness that characterize Italy. It is in places like this shipyard that Italy's top-level products result from the joint contribution of different skills", the Minister said. The shipyards are part of Italy's identity, but they are also a fundamental part of the future of its Defence and of the emerging European Defence.
This was Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti's message this morning, on the occasion of the launch of the aft section of Logistic Support Ship (LSS) "Vulcano".
Addressing the workforce who attended the ceremony, the Minister added: "You've done an incredible job, we will continue to support the requirements of the Navy and of our country, thus fostering development at national level".
"We went through a difficult moment, but today we can look at the future with hope", she added, recalling how, due to the economic crisis, during the 2008-2013 legislature many feared that the shipyards would have to be closed down.
A risk we have avoided thanks to the synergic action of the Italian defence and industry: the Naval Law has helped us to overcome a difficult phase for our shipyards through a multi-year programme for the upgrading of the Navy fleet.
The ceremony took place at Castellammare di Stabia shipyards. It was attended by Undersecretary of State for Defence Gioacchino Alfano, Navy Chief, Adm. Valter Girardelli, Fincantieri President, Giampiero Massolo, and the mayor of Castellammare di Stabia, Antonio Pannullo.
The godmother of the launch was Maria Teresa Piras, the widow of Navy Lieutenant Emilio Attramini, a young officer who died in Monte Serra air accident in 1977.
The multi-year Navy fleet upgrade programme also includes building a new naval transport and landing unit (LHD-Landing Helicopter Dock) and seven multi-role high seas patrol vessels (PPA), [with an option] for three more.
These are highly innovative vessels, with very flexible engagement profiles, including in favour of civilians, for example during civil protection operations. Moreover, thanks to their electrical engines, they also have a very low environmental impact.
France has officially asked, through OCCAR, to build three LSSs in cooperation with Italy, starting from the design adopted for the Italian vessels.
The three French vessels will be built in in Saint Nazaire, in the STX shipyards recently acquired by Fincantieri; the bilateral agreement will also include the possible construction of a French-Italian unit, jointly managed by the two Navies, or by a bi-national crew.
The latter would be a first concrete step toward European defence in the naval sector, thus establishing a common industrial base which could be broadened to other European nations. (Emphasis added—Ed.)
The section that was launched today – 94 m. long, 24 m. wide, approximately 4,100 tons- will be carried by sea to Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard, where it will be assembled with the stern section, in order to complete the unit due to be delivered in 2019.