The ITS Alpino, a Fincantieri-built frigate sailing under the Italian flag, made landfall in Norfolk. The ITS Alpino, a FREMM-class frigate, is a model of the ship the U.S. Navy is considering for the FFG(X) future frigate program.
FREMM frigates are the only ships in the competition that have been proven in combat, having helped to destroy a Syrian chemical weapons facility in April.
"The ITS Alpino demonstrates the proven versatility and capability of the FREMM class frigate," said Vice Admiral Richard Hunt (Ret.), Fincantieri Marinette Marine's Chief Strategy Officer. "It is lethal, survivable, designed for sailors and in service now. It provides a superior platform for the U.S. Navy FFG(X) competition and can provide great combat capability for our Navy in the near term and beyond. It will contribute to the defense of America and our allies."
He continued, "ITS Alpino's visit to the United States provides a great opportunity to introduce this ship to Navy leadership and warfighters. The design has demonstrated its flexibility with several variations used in the Italian and French Navies and has the ability to grow to serve the U.S. Navy's future needs. It is a highly capable, proven warship which has been consistently built on schedule and at an affordable cost. FREMM class ships are built with industry best practices in design and construction, delivering superior performance quickly and affordably with a strong focus on providing a high operational availability."
"The U.S. Navy urgently needs a highly capable warship that can both operate forward confidently in independent operations and significantly contribute to larger Strike Group operations when needed. FREMM provides the necessary foundation to quickly develop the U.S. Navy's next frigate."
Reporters and other members of the Norfolk community interested in touring the ship should contact Justin Platt for more information. He can be reached at Justin.Platt@edelman.com.
"The ITS Alpino's cutting-edge technology provides the capabilities needed for FFG(X) to be highly lethal while still being dependable and comfortable for the sailors who operate it," said Mr. Charles Goddard, formerly the US Navy's PEO Ships and currently Fincantieri Marine Group's Senior Vice President. "The FREMM's design will enable it to grow over its service life with the U.S. Navy with limited upgrade costs. This ship is a technical marvel."
Among many other capabilities, the ITS Alpino has 16 Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells that can be readily upgraded to 32, can host two helicopters, and can combat undersea, surface, and airborne threats.
When a version of the ship is built for the U.S. Navy, it will create thousands of high-tech American manufacturing jobs, and Fincantieri Marine Group already employs more than 2,000 people in the United States.
The ITS Alpino traveled to Norfolk from Italy. Following its stay in Norfolk, it will visit Baltimore, New York City, and Boston. The trip is designed to both improve upon cooperation between the U.S. and Italian navies and underscore the potential benefits of frigates modelled off the ITS Alpino for the U.S. Navy.