The Italo-French FREMM program continues

04 March 2017

Trieste, March 4, 2017 – The launching ceremony of the “Federico Martinengo” frigate, the seventh of a series of 10 FREMM vessels - Multi Mission European Frigates – took place today at the Riva Trigoso shipyard (Genoa). The 10 FREMM vessels have been commissioned to Fincantieri by the Italian Navy within the framework of an Italo-French cooperation program under the coordination of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms).

Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs. Mina De Caro, widow of Giuseppe Porcelli, Commander of the “Scirocco” frigate, who lost his life in 1997 during operational activities held within NATO naval forces in the Mediterranean.

The ceremony was attended, among others by Gen. Claudio Graziano,Chief of Defence, Adm. Valter Girardelli, Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Giovanni Toti, Governor of the Liguria Region,and Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri.

After the launching, fitting activities will continue in the Integrated naval shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia), with delivery scheduled in early 2018. The “Federico Martinengo” vessel, like the other units, will feature a high degree of flexibility, capable of operating in all tactical situations. 144 metres long with a beam of 19.7 metres, the ship will have a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes. The “Federico Martinengo” will have a maximum speed of over 27 knots and will provide accommodation for a 200-person crew.

The FREMM program, representing the European and Italian defence state of the art, stems from the renewal need of the Italian Navy line “Lupo” (already removed) and “Maestrale” (close to the attainment of operational limit) class frigates, both built by Fincantieri in the 1970s.

The vessels “Carlo Bergamini” and “Virginio Fasan” have been delivered in 2013, the “Carlo Margottini” in 2014, the “Carabiniere” in 2015 and the “Alpino” in 2016. The Italian program has been fully implemented with the option exercised in April 2015, regarding the construction of the ninth and tenth vessel, whose delivery is scheduled after 2020.


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


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

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Rear Admiral

Golden Medal for Military Value awarded posthumously

Commander Admiral, during WW1 and WW2 he demonstrated strong qualities of mind, heart and character in the important positions which he carried out on board and on-shore. He displayed deep preparation, secure faith and courage.

At the signing of the armistice, he was in charge of transferring the anti-submarine units in La Spezia and of the non-use of those units which were not able to move, carrying out his task vigorously, even in great difficulties given by the in-hand situation. He left the port all alone with a V.A.S. section during the imminent occupation of the square by the strong German units. At sea he met a section of German torpedo boats, immediately deciding, despite the evident inferiority condition, to accept the unequal struggle. He handled the fight with close action, giving no respite until, fatally hit, he fell lifeless while his spirit continued to move over the crews. They continued the fight at ground, desisting only when the German units, hardly hit, withdrew from the action.

Northern Tyrrhenian Sea, 9 September, 1943

He was born in Rome on July, 18 1899. After completing courses at the Naval Academy in Livorno on May 25, 1915 and being appointed as midshipman, he participated in the First World War embarked on the first battleship Conte di Cavour and then on the transport vessel Trinacria (once America, British merchant ship). In September 1916 he passed on to the seaplanes station in Venice, where he achieved the pilots and observer license, participating in several war patrols.

He then operated in Sibenik at the seaplanes station, and in 1919 he embarked on the torpedo boat in his role as second officer. He was promoted to Corvette Captain in 1927 and to Frigate Captain in 1932; from 1931 to 1933 he was in command of the Marine Detachment in Tianjin (China). Repatriated, he attended the Naval War Institute in Livorno and was promoted to Captain. He first had the command of the naval base of Leros and then the one of the cruiser Muzio Attendolo, with which he entered the war on June 10, 1940, participating in the naval Battle of Punta Stilo as well as in many other war patrols.

In October 1940, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Department M.M. of Taranto, which he held until his promotion to Rear Admiral; on April 10, 1943 he took over the High Command of anti-submarine vessels in La Spezia, where he was on September 8, 1943, day when the armistice was signed. In compliance with the orders he received, he left La Spezia on the morning of the 9th, embarked on VAS 234 with the VAS 235. Shortly before 2 pm the two lookouts were attacked by German torpedo boats. The fighting lasted about an hour, with damage on both sides, until the VAS, ran out of ammunitions, sheltered in Cala Scirocco (Gorgona) where the VAS 234, was sunk taking with her the heroic admiral, already fatally machine-gunned by the enemy while he was steering the unit which carried his sign.

Other decorations:

  • Silver Medals to the Military Value (Upper Adriatic, October 1916);
  • Silver Medals to the Military Value (Upper Adriatic, May - July 1917);
  • Military Cross to the Military Value (January 1918).