19 Maret 2015

Fincanteri Sizes up Aussie Frigate Programme Amid Asia Expansion

19 Maret 2015

Italian shipbuilder Fincanteri is eyeing up the SEA 5000 Future Frigate programme in Australia that will replace the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) eight ANZAC-class frigates. (photo : Shephard)

The requirement is for a military off-the-shelf anti-submarine warfare (ASW) ship and Fincanteri will put forward a modified variant of its FREMM frigate that it has built for the Italian Navy.

A spokesperson from the company told Shephard that Fincantieri has ‘designed and built an ASW version of the FREMM, adapted to meet the RAN’s Top Level Requirements for CEA’s radars, two helos and 48 cells therefore it is thought to be a strong contender’.

Although not active in the RAN’s Collins-class replacement submarine programme, the company is expanding its presence in Asia with activities in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

In India Fincantieri said that it has taken part in the tender sent out from Mazagon Docks as a ‘know-how provider’ for the construction of the new P17 A frigates. ‘The bid results are expected in a few months,’ the spokesperson said.

In addition the company, in cooperation with Hindustan Shipyard and the Indian Navy, is preparing to bid for the construction of two mini-submarines (SOV) that will be submitted within the first half of 2015.

Fincantieri has also participated in the tenders for the construction of five new fleet tankers and for the construction of multi-purpose vessels for the Indian Navy. 

‘In this case, too, the request for bid is expected to be issued before the end of 2015,’ the spokesperson said.

This activity in India has been built upon the company’s success providing two fleet tankers for the IN and the company is providing spares and systems maintenance for those two ships. 

Fincantieri is also undertaking the propulsion system integration contract for the construction of the Indian Navy’s new aircraft carrier at the Cochin Shipyard. The company is supporting the installation of the propulsion system and arranges system tests. 

Furthermore, the spokesperson said that contacts with Indian engineering companies are ongoing ‘to create a design centre able to carry out activities for the Indian Navy and for the Indian shipyards.’

In Vietnam, Fincantieri was part of the Italian government’s official mission in November 2014 led by the under-secretary of defence, Domenico Rossi. 

‘In that occasion the Vietnamese Armed Forces and, in particular, the navy, expressed their willingness to cooperate with Italy for the supply of patrol vessels, more specifically OPVs and mini-submarines,’ the spokesperson said.

In terms of other markets, the spokesperson said that Fincantieri ‘is only monitoring the situation, because in the short-term there are no programmes which could interest the company’s activities’.

The spokesperson added: ‘Malaysia has recently cut its defence budget because of the flood, Thailand is not accessible due to the new regime which came to power, in the Philippines the corvette supply programme is the only open one, but Fincantieri decided not take part at the bid.’


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