The First Hybrid Configuration FREMM Frigate Launched
The new frigate named Spartaco Schergat and its twin Emilio Bianchi will replace two GP (General Purpose) configuration Italian FREMMs sold to the Egyptian Navy, as reported by EDR Magazine. Previously, Italian FREMM frigates were built in GP and ASW configurations.
New ships will combine kept or improved systems from both variants into a single hull, providing both capabilities with one vessel instead of two. For example, French Thales CAPTAS-4 towed sonar used in ASW configuration is installed in place of the stern RHIB launch/recovery system, keeping the side RHIB bays.
Electronic Warfare and communications equipment will include more modern systems, requiring a change to the existing mast design. The communication suite to be used is already in use with PPA OPVs of the Italian Navy.
Armament remains the same with GP configuration, consisting of Aster-family air defence missiles, 25 mm RCWS, Leonardo 76/62 mm STRALES naval gun with DART ammunition, Leonardo 127/64 mm LW naval gun, and Teseo-type anti-ship missiles.
There are plans for a FREMM-EVO configuration following Spartaco Schergat and Emilio Bianchi. One of the most critical changes includes a shift to fixed-face radars, likely to be developed from the ones used on PPA OPVs. The new ship will likely benefit from future weapon and sensor systems such as the Teseo Mk2/E anti-ship missile, offering a new missile with an RF+IIR dual-mode seeker and ASW sensors.
The Italian Navy’s upgrade plans aren’t limited to improved FREMM configurations. Within the scope of Italian MoD’s DPP 2023-25 plan, other upgrades for the Navy include Horizon-class frigate MLU, DDX AAW/Strike destroyer design, new MCMVs (Mine Countermeasure Vessels), SMART-L MM/N AESA Radar, and new shipborne EW systems under SIGEN consortium.