Horizon MLU: programme history and achievements

Luca Peruzzi

The MLU programme of the four Horizon class AAW units was launched by OCCAR in July 2020 with the feasibility study contract award after only seven months from the assignment of the programme to the same organization by two nations in January 2020, notwithstanding the COVID 19 pandemic crisis. Assigned to the FREMM Programme Division, the Horizon MLU programme represents the prosecution of the French-Italian cooperation that formally started in 1999 with the decision to design, built and put into service the same Horizon class AAW platforms, followed in October 2000 by the contract awarded to the joint Horizon joint-venture between Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (between Fincantieri and then Finmeccanica) and Armaris (then DCN and Thales). The Italian Navy’s first-of-class Andrea Doria destroyer was delivered in December 2007 followed by Caio Duilio in April 2009 while the Marine Nationale’s FoC Forbin was delivered in December 2008 followed by Chevalier Paul in December 2009.

“We are very proud of today’s achievement; the contract signed today is the result of a route jointly walked with our partner Eurosamand our customers: OCCAR, which we sincerely thank for the excellent work done, Directorate of Naval Armaments of the Secretariat General of Defence / National Armaments Directorate and French Armament General Directorate (DGA), started with the award of the feasibility studies which will make even more solid the execution of the programme. This contract is a fundamental step for Navirisin demonstrating its capability to execute a multinational programme….”, declared Damien Raby, Naviris’ CEO and Enrico Bonetti, Naviris’ COO aside the Horizon MLU contract signature.

This contract also constitutes an important development for the Eurosam JV, as it further enhances the capabilities of the PAAMS naval air defense system and the Aster family of missiles to address present and future air and missile threats, ensuring together with the SAMP/T NG land-based system a range of systems that exploit the same family of ammunition to the advantage of maintenance/logistics commonality and therefore of operating life costs.

Photo courtesy Polish MoD