Italy approves the sale of two Fincantieri FREMM frigates for Egyptian Navy

The Italian FREMM Alpino pierside in Baltimore. Manufacturer Fincantieri in February 2020 confirmed ongoing talks with Egypt for two vessels of the class.

According to information released by the Italian news agency ANSA on June 8, 2020, Italy approves the sale of two FREMM frigates to the Egyptian navy. In February 2020, it was announced that Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri will sign a deal with Egypt to purchase two European Multi-Purpose Frigate (FREMM) warships.

The plan is to divert the two vessels to Egypt, then win a top-up order from Italy to complete the Italian navy’s complement of ships.

Of the two frigates in question, the Emilio Bianchi was launched in January and was due for delivery to the Italian navy in 2021, while the Spartaco Schergat is due for delivery in a few months.

According to the report, these frigates may be drawn from the Italian Navy’s procurement program – the vessels Spartaco Schergat and Emilio Bianchi, launched in January 2019 and January 2020, respectively – enabling Fincantieri to sell the vessels for an estimated cost of €1.2 billion.

The FREMM (“European multi-purpose frigate”; French: Frégate européenne multi-mission; Italian: Fregata europea multi-missione) is a class of multi-purpose frigates designed by Naval Group and Fincantieri for the navies of France and Italy. The lead ship of the class, Aquitaine, was commissioned in November 2012 by the French Navy.

The “Emilio Bianchi” vessel, like the other units, features a high degree of flexibility, capable of operating in all tactical situations. 144 metres long with a beam of 19.7 metres, the ship has a displacement at a full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes. The vessel has a maximum speed of over 27 knots and has a maximum accommodation capacity for a 200-person crew.

Spartaco Schergat is a general purpose-configured variant with a full-load displacement of 6,900 tons and 144 meters in length. It carries an OTO Melara gun, a 16-cell vertical launch system launching Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles, an MU90 lightweight torpedo launching system (Torpedo Launching System) and the Teseo MK2/A anti-ship system, based on the Teseo missile. The ship also has a flight deck for embarking two helicopters.

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