The fore section of the new Italian Navy’s Logistic Support Ship (LSS), named Vulcano, was launched on the 10th of April at the Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia (Naples).
The ceremony took place in the presence of several political, military, religious and civilian authorities. Among them were the Italian Minister of Defence, Senator Roberta Pinotti, the Undersecretary of State for Defence, Gioacchino Alfano, the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli, the President of Fincantieri, Ambassador Giampiero Massolo, the Chief of the Italian Naval Directorate, Admiral Matteo Bisceglia, and the OCCAR-EA Director, Mr. Arturo Alfonso-Meiriño.
Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Maria Teresa Piras, widow of Lt Emilio Attramini, Italian Navy Officer, who died in the 1977 Monte Serra air disaster.
The OCCAR LSS Programme was established in 2015, with the LSS Programme Division based in La Spezia.
The construction of the ship by Fincantieri shipbuilding group started in February 2016; the hull and the superstructures are being built in two sections, with the 93 metres long and approx. 4,000t fore section being built at Castellammare di Stabia (near Naples), while the 86 metres and 7,000t aft section is being built at the Riva Trigoso shipyard in Genoa.
Before the end of 3rd quarter of 2017 the two sections will be transferred to, and assembled at, Muggiano shipyard’s floating dock, where the new ship will be completed for a planned launch in the last quarter of 2017. After outfitting, the first sea-going of the platform is due in the second quarter of 2018 with the first combat system sea acceptance trial later in the same year, with delivery to follow in February 2019.
LSS is designed to operate in multiple scenarios and characterised by a high level of flexibility, from providing support to naval joint task forces, to the conduct of humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) and civil protection missions.
The double-hull 23,000-tonne full-load displacement, 165-metres long and 24-metres wide LSS features a flight deck astern capable of accommodating one CH-53 helicopter or MV-22 tiltrotor platform and a large hangar to host and maintain up to two EH-101 helicopters, a hospital and maintenance and repair facilities, and will be capable of transporting and transferring to other ships and ashore payloads including 2,500 kW electrical power, potable water and containers. In addition, it will be able to accommodate up to 200 (188+12 hospitalised) persons, including 167 crew members.
The new LSS is built under the Navy’s fleet renewal plan and is replacing the old Stromboli-class fleet replenishment oilers that have been in service with the Italian Navy for 42 years.