SeaFuture 2023 – Fincantieri further details its FCX family concept and new service model

Paolo Valpolini

Following the presentation of its FCX family of ships at LIMA, the Langkawi exhibition that took place late last May, Fincantieri further detailed the family concept at SeaFuture, the naval exhibition taking place in La Spezia in early June, where it also highlighted its new service model

With five sizes of FCX ships currently in its catalogue, two more to follow soon, Fincantieri FCX concept was detailed a few weeks ago. At SeaFuture the company focused on one type of ship, the 3,200 tonnes FCX30, to further explain its idea of providing a complete catalogue of solutions to its customers, allowing reducing costs and time.

Pierroberto Folgiero, Fincantieri CEO, underlined as key elements the breakthrough digitalisation, leveraging the data management on military ships, and the end-to-end service model.

Coming to the FCX30, Fincantieri underlined the platform flexibility, with three different combat systems layouts and two different propulsion systems proposed. The baseline combat system allows to fulfil maritime interdiction, peacekeeping operations counter-piracy missions and search-and-rescue, the FCX30 being used as a large offshore patrol vessel. The multipurpose layout sees the addition of a complete sonar suite, with variable depth and hull sonars as sensors and torpedoes as effectors, the ship now being able to fulfil the antisubmarine warfare (ASW) role, an NBC protected citadel being also added. In the full configuration the FCX becomes a light frigate, a 3D radar and surface-to-air missiles being added. When the ship is fitted for the ASW mission, then diesel-electric propulsion is fitted in place of the diesel-diesel one.

The ship is designed to be as stealth as possible, radar cross section, magnetic, acoustic and infrared signatures being managed in order to reduce them at minimal level, the ship vulnerability being also reduced, the FCX30 being able to stay afloat even with two contiguous zones fully flood.

The FCX30 is designed to be fully interoperable with Allied navies and to be able to be refitted with new technologies to anticipate or quickly react to new scenarios.

Producibility is another magic word in the FCX family, ships being produced in sections in order to reduce production time, to cope with the changeability principle, and to foster upgreadability. This also allows added flexibility when customer national content is required.

Availability, which depends on maintenance and repair times, is also an issue that is dealt with in the FCX concept, cybersecurity being another key issue, FCX ships being cybersecure by design.

To cope with the latter issues Fincantieri is establishing a new service model, the FCX New Service, based on a through-life service concept, the company proposing itself not only as a shipyard but also as a service provider.

This aims at providing services ranging from logistics to in-service training, the establishment of a long-lasting relationship with the customer the latter becoming a partner especially when considering data-base logistics. The company considers training a key issue and aims at providing tailor-made classroom trainers up to virtual reality in order to adapt the syllabus to the single customer.

Fincantieri is moving towards a digital/data-driven support that will also include the ship digital-twin concept, the final aim being to switch to predictive maintenance, optimising maintenance periods and increasing availability.

Fincantieri, thanks to the experience acquired in the 18 shipyards owned by the group, is also ready to extend its support services to naval bases and facilities, transfer of knowledge being obviously the key factor.

Photo by P. Valpolini