Horizon MLU: Italian configuration platforms renewal

Luca Peruzzi

The French and Italian navies procurement agencies, OCCAR and the industrial entities involved in the programme are working on the contracts award to subcontractors in order for the programme to run accordingly to the time schedule which is to see the activities to be launched on the first Italian Navy platform from mid-2026 in order to be re-delivered to the same service at the end of 2027, to be followed by the second Italian Navy platform in mid-2029 while the two French Navy’s units will be delivered back respectively at the end of 2029 and end of 2030.

According to the information leaked during the feasibility study phase and obtained by EDR On-Line, the Horizon MLU sees the platform and its systems being subjected to a complete overhaul with modernization or replacement of systems that cannot be maintained in the future with the service life extension, in addition to maintenance activities.

Looking to the Italian Navy’s Doria-class platforms renewal activities, the current Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) will be replaced by the SMS (Ship Management System) of the SeasNavy family provided by Fincantieri NexTech, already installed on the last generation of ships for the Italian Navy (PPA, LHD and LSS) and export market. To comply with latest interface standards and safety rules, the electric cables network will be replaced with a new one satisfying higher fire resistant standards.

The propulsion system is based on a CODOG (Diesel Engines or Gas Turbines) configuration including two GE/Avio LM 2500 gas turbines of 20.5 MW each and two main diesel engines SEMT Pielstick – today MAN Diesel & Turbo France – of 4.32 MW each on two shaft lines with controllable pitch propeller offering a maximum speed of respectively 29 and 18 knots and an endurance of 7,000 and 3,500 nm at respectively 25 and 18 knots.

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The two gas turbines together with the gearbox will be completely overhauled while the diesel engines will be upgraded to the ‘common rail’ standard with fuel electronic injection providing reduced fuel consumption and emissions, allowing for increased maintenance intervals and availability improvements. The electric power generation and distribution will see the introduction of four new Isotta Fraschini Motori VL 1716 C2 ME 2 1.6 kW power each diesel generators, already installed on Thaon di Revel-class PPAs, also providing higher availability and reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Other ancillary equipment will be updated or replaced alongside the improvement of the antifouling system as well as the complete overhaul and enhancement of the sanitation water treatment system, improving together with other activities the environmental protection.

The two separate electrical stations providing redundancy will be subjected to complete overhaul. The same activities will be conducted to the NBC citadel, with detection and filtering systems enhancement, while the ballistic protection to main important compartments or stations such as bridge, COC, armaments depot is expected to remain unchanged.

The medical ROLE 1 equipment and areas will be completely renewed according to latest standards. The Doria-class destroyers are equipped with three RHIBs, one 5 meters in the bow station and two 7 meters on lateral stations. The left one will be upgraded to use a 9.39 meters boat while the stern flight deck with hangar for an EH-101/NH90 helicopter will be renewed. The same activities will be conducted for the crew rest and living areas which host 230 bed accommodations for a 189 elements crew plus 41 for the flight detachment (13), embarked command (20) and San Marco Brigade Marines (8), according to the Italian Navy.

Photos courtesy US Navy and G. Arra