The Tenth Multipurpose Frigate "Emilio Bianchi" Launched: final ship of the Italo-French FREMM program
(Source: Fincantieri; issued January 25, 2020)
The Italian Navy’s tenth and final FREMM multipurpose frigate, the future ITS Emilio Bianchi, was launched on Jan. 25 at the Fincantieri shipyard near Genoa. She will be handed over to the customer in 2021 after fitting out. (Fincantieri photo)
TRIESTE, Italy --- The ceremony for the launch of the frigate "Emilio Bianchi," the tenth and final ship of the FREMM (European Multi Mission Frigate) class, took place today at the integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso (Genoa), with Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini in attendance.

The ten Fremm ships were ordered from Fincantieri by the Italian Navy within the framework of an Italian--French cooperative program coordinated by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l'Armement), the international organization for cooperation on armaments.

The godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Maria Elisabetta Bianchi, eldest daughter of Emilio Bianchi, winner of the Italian Gold Medal for Military Valor.

Fincantieri President Giampiero Massolo welcomed the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, representing the Chief of Defence, General Enzo Vecciarelli, the Governor of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, in addition to other civil and military authorities.

After the launch, fitting-out activities will continue at the integrated naval shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia), with delivery scheduled in 2021. The "Emilio Bianchi," like her sister-ships, features a high degree of flexibility and is capable of operating in all tactical situations. With a length of 144 metres and a beam of 19.7 metres, the ship will have a displacement of approximately 6,700 tonnes at full load. She has a top speed of over 27 knots and will be able to accommodate a up to 200 people, including crew and passengers.

The FREMM program, representing the European and Italian state of the art in naval systems, stems from the Italian Navy’s requirement to replace the "Lupo"-class (now all retired) and "Maestrale"-class frigates (now being decommissioned), both built by Fincantieri in the 1970s.

The ships "Carlo Bergamini" and "Virginio Fasan" were delivered in 2013, the "Carlo Margottini" in 2014, the "Carabiniere" in 2015, the "Alpino" in 2016, the "Luigi Rizzo" in 2017, the "Federico Martinengo" in 2018, and the "Antonio Marceglia" in 2019.

The Italian portion of the Fremm program was fully implemented with the option exercised in April 2015 for the construction of the ninth and tenth ships, whose delivery is scheduled after 2020.

Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri, 49% Leonardo) acts as prime contractor for Italy in the initiative, while Armaris (Naval Group + Thales) is prime contractor for France.

This cooperation has applied the positive experience gained in the previous Italo-French program "Orizzonte" that led to the construction for the Italian Navy of the two frigates "Andrea Doria" and "Caio Duilio".

Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and number one for diversification and innovation. It is leader in cruise ship design and construction and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry sectors, from naval to offshore vessels. With over 8,900 employees in Italy and a supplier network that employs nearly 50,000 people, Fincantieri has enhanced a fragmented production capacity over several shipyards into strength, acquiring the widest portfolio of clients and products in the cruise segment.


Launch of the Ship Emilio Bianchi
(Source: Italian Navy; issued January 25, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
On January 25, the launching ceremony of the tenth European Multi Mission Frigate took place at the Riva Trigoso shipyard, which bears the name of the Combat Diver chief Emilio Bianchi, who was decorated with the Gold Medal for Military Valor.

The godmother of the launch was Elisabetta Bianchi, daughter of the hero who passed away in 2015, who cut the ribbon for the auspicious breaking of the bottle on ths ship’s bow. Attending the ceremony was the Minister of Defense, Lorenzo Guerini, and the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone.

The future ITS Bianchi (F 589) is the final unit of the FREMM Italian-French international cooperation program, created to compensate for the growing age of the Navy fleet. This program provided for the acquisition of 10 multi-mission frigates of which six "General Purpose" variants (high operational flexibility) and four anti-submarine variants (reinforced ASW capabilities.

The Bianchi, with 144 meters in length and 6900 tons of displacement at full load, is the sixth FREMM in General Purpose (GP) configuration. In this version, the most relevant features concern the caliber of the 127/64 forward cannon and the presence of a stern slide necessary for launching fast dinghies for special forces operations.

The FREMM, the national shipbuilding state-of-the-art, represent the backbone of the Italian Navy for the coming decades and are designed to perform a multiplicity of functions and activities not only distinctly military but also to support the community.

The new and increasingly technological "gray ships", built according to the concepts of modularity and both economic and environmental sustainability, require careful control and verification, in the implementation phase, of what has been established in the study and design phase.

This scenario testifies to the work by the Navy through the New Naval Construction Set-up Center (MARINALLES) which follows the set-up and online processes of the new Units, carried out at private shipyards. A plurality of actors is involved and multiple activities are interconnected.

The Bianchi will begin its operational life in 2021 after a further year of fitting out and crew training at the Fincantieri Muggiano plant in La Spezia.


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