The launch took place at the integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso (Genoa) in the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence, Roberta Pinotti, and, on behalf of the Chief of Defence, General Claudio Graziano, the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli.
After the launch, fitting activities will continue in the integrated naval shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia), with delivery scheduled in 2019.
At 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 vessel will have a maximum speed of over 27 knots and will provide accommodation for a 200-person crew.
Fincantieri will deliver 10 FREMM frigates to the Italaian Navy to replace the Lupo Class and the outgoing Maestrale Class frigates, built by Fincantieri in the 1970s. The FREMM vessels Carlo Bergamini and Virginio Fasan were delivered in 2013, the Carlo Margottini in 2014, the Carabiniere in 2015, the Alpino 2016, and the Luigi Rizzo in 2017. The Italian program has been fully implemented with the option exercised in April 2015, regarding the construction of the ninth and 10th vessels, whose delivery is scheduled after 2020.
Fincantieri Australia chairman Dario Deste said the launch of the eighth frigate marked an important milestone in the Fincantieri FREMM program.
"The launch of our eighth frigate once again demonstrates the capacity of Fincantieri to design and construct (in close consultation with a sovereign navy and other construction partners) the best anti-submarine warfare frigate available today," Deste said.
Fincantieri's FREMM frigate is one of the vessels that has been offered for the Australian Future Frigate program, along with BAE Systems' Global Combat Ship and Navantia's F-5000.
A decision on the $35 billion project is expected around April this year.