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  #1  
Old 21-05-2013, 06:10
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BlackBat242 BlackBat242 is offline
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Default Italians Head Toward LCS Concept

Bolding mine:

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Italian Navy Chief Proposes New Dual-Use Vessel
May. 20, 2013 - 08:48AM |
By TOM KINGTON

ROME — As warships get sleeker and stealthier, the head of the Italian Navy wants to buck the trend and plan a one-size-fits-all warship that will be cheap, roomy and dual use, even making space for containers on deck.

Adm. Giuseppe Di Giorgi, who took over the Navy in January, told Defense News in an interview that he is pushing for a new generation of vessels that could be a floating hospital in disaster zones on one day and fight high-intensity wars the next.

Di Giorgi’s plans come as Italy makes deep cuts to its armed forces, with around 30 naval vessels of various classes due out of service over the next decade, and only six to 10 fregata multi-missione (FREMM) ships slated to enter service.

Hence, the Navy chief’s plan to buy up to 12 vessels, weighing 3,500 to 4,000 tons, 125 meters long and 15 meters wide, and which he says can replace the whole range of ships being phased out, at lower cost. Those dimensions would make the ships slightly smaller than the FREMMs.

“We need to replace the Maestrale class and the Soldati class of vessels, as well as the corvettes and patrol vessels, vessels which are on average 30 years old,” he said. That would mean a vessel up to 4,000 tons replacing 2,000-ton patrol vessels.

“The ship I have in mind to accompany the FREMMs would be conceived from the start as dual use, fast and modular,” he said.

Di Giorgi said the new vessel would achieve a top speed of at least 35 knots, “with a traditional, combined use of turbines and diesels, possibly two of each,” he said.

“It’s a concept in its early stages, but the General Staff has given preliminary approval for six vessels,” he said, referring to the type as a “simplified FREMM.” The cost, he said, would be about two-thirds of the price of a FREMM.

Building big would mean saving money, Di Giorgi said.

“This ship will have a huge potential for growth, with just a 127mm gun on the bow and a 76mm gun in the stern at the start, and it would be able to host further armaments.

“And if I want to install an armament, its size means I don’t have to dismantle the whole vessel,” he said. “And that means I will save over the life of the vessel because I will not have paid out so much to update armaments or the radar. Furthermore, with more space, I can be more flexible about the systems I use, and maintenance will cost less.

“Additionally, the use of the ship becomes more extensive, since it will be used in rough weather that could stop a smaller vessel.”

Di Giorgi’s ship would have a hangar for two NH90s or one AW101 helicopter and a fixed-array radar, an evolution from the rotating Empar used on the FREMMs.

Technicalities aside, the ship’s planned dual-use capability is no afterthought, and could help the program win funding from politicians who are being forced to cut spending and have a rapidly declining interest in backing high-priced, purely military programs such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Below the flight deck, the ship will contain ample space for modular loads, with two large openings on the side of the vessel to receive them, including mine-hunting systems and underwater vehicles for special operations. The ship also will contain a hospital to be used by Italy’s civil protection agency, and equipment for use by civil research and environmental protection agencies.

At the center of the ship’s deck, a large space could be used to carry four 15-meter special operations craft or two ramp-equipped landing craft, but also containers for civil use, with a crane to load and unload.

“The ship would be able to provide electricity and clean water to a community of 6,000 people, so that in case of a natural disaster, the ship could dock and supply water and electricity to a small town,” Di Giorgi said. “Its high speed would also allow the ship to respond fast to disasters.”

The Navy recently took part in an exercise with the civil protection agency that simulated relief work after an earthquake.

“If you look at the map of Italy, you see that this ship, with its helicopters, could dock and reach any part of the country,” Di Giorgi said.

To accommodate passengers, the ship would have 230 beds, despite requiring a crew of only 90.

“The modularity of this project is very much the idea behind the littoral combat ship,” said Christian Le Miere, senior fellow for naval forces and maritime security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

“It makes sense if you want to go multimission; you just need to be aware of the concerns over the time it takes to switch modules,” he said.

Le Miere said one concern about replacing various classes of naval vessels with one type is that if the type experienced a technical problem, that could temporarily take all of them out of service.

The dual-use concept, he said, is a sign of the times.

“Militaries in Europe today are not designed for high-intensity, state-on-state wars, so this makes sense,” Le Miere said. “But if they do look to source funding from other Italian government ministries because of the civil application, there could be questions about how to share time on the vessels. Bureaucracy can be a challenge.”

Apart from the new vessel, Di Giorgi said he has a handful of other vessels on his wish list, including a new submarine rescue ship with oceanographic capabilities, as well as a supply ship.

For the new type, he said he would rely on in-house design work to get development underway. “We have reactivated our center for ship design to optimize costs, to reduce spending on development and increase money available for production.”
Italian Navy Chief Proposes New Dual Use Vessel
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Old 21-05-2013, 16:46
Scatari Scatari is offline
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Default Re: Italians head toward LCS concept

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Originally Posted by BlackBat242 View Post
Italian Navy Chief Proposes New Dual Use Vessel
"Dual use?"

It sounds as though this beast could do anything/everything except act as an icebreaker!

Thanks for posting the article Jon.
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Last edited by Scatari : 21-05-2013 at 16:47. Reason: Correct punctuation
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  #3  
Old 25-05-2013, 11:20
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Default Re: Italians head toward LCS concept

Interesting, a armed multi-use warship! DFO
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Old 25-05-2013, 17:48
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Default Re: Italians head toward LCS concept

It looks to me like a sensible solution for cash-strapped European navies like the Marina Militare.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:06
Shinysheff Shinysheff is offline
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Default Re: Italians head toward LCS concept

Yep, I think the RN could do with some of these to bolster it's numbers.
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Old 13-07-2013, 14:23
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Default Re: Italians head toward LCS concept

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Originally Posted by Shinysheff View Post
Yep, I think the RN could do with some of these to bolster it's numbers.
Shiny, you have hit on a very important point. Numbers are important
until we figure out how to have a single hull in multiple locations conducting
different missions---))))

As many of you folks know I consider myself a "Tin Can Sailor", having served aboard Gearing FRAM Is, FFGs and FF1052s during my 26 years with Uncle Sam's Canoe Club. I have also served abaord a CV, two CGs (one Aegis) in RivRons and SBUs with lots of Brown water and Littoral steaming.

IMO, nothing trains a young sailor (O's and E's) as well as service aboard a small combatant. That is where you really learn your "Rate" and perfect
your leadership skills. Throw in SWO ans ESWS quals and you get a very good sailorman early in his acreer.

In that light I see duty aboard a LCS as the ideal place to start.
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Old 13-07-2013, 20:59
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Don Boyer Don Boyer is offline
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Default Re: Italians Head Toward LCS Concept

Couldn't agree more Chief -- in reading many World War II histories of one kind or another, one thing that really seemed to jumb out was the fact that many of the truly competent sea-going ship commanders in that conflict came up through the small combatents (up to destroyer size). Seems in those days that school of learning produced those whose marlinspike seamanship, navigating, and ship-handling skills were of the best caliber. I like commanders like that..they have better odds of not getting you killed in battle.
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Old 16-07-2013, 13:15
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Default Don, I like the cut of your Jib!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Boyer View Post
Couldn't agree more Chief -- in reading many World War II histories of one kind or another, one thing that really seemed to jumb out was the fact that many of the truly competent sea-going ship commanders in that conflict came up through the small combatents (up to destroyer size). Seems in those days that school of learning produced those whose marlinspike seamanship, navigating, and ship-handling skills were of the best caliber. I like commanders like that..they have better odds of not getting you killed in battle.
I especially agree with your last sentence. Between the SEA, State Dept, the Brass and lastly the enemy there were far too many people out to get us killed. A Real sailorman CO did help the odds of collecting my pension---))))

One caveat is that you have to have enough savvy PO's to ensure the kids learn how to do it right the first time. The flip side of the coin is that these kids have a lot more responsibility and have to be watched less their youth get the ship in real trouble.
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