Compared to the French naval Aquitaine-class ships, Carlo Bergamini has some differences in the equipment related to propulsion system, electronic equipment and weapons according to the various requirements of the Italian navy.
The Italian Navy’s Carlo Bergamini-class stealth frigate is part of the FREMM multipurpose frigate in cooperation with France. In particular, the Aquitaine-class was built for the French Navy and Carlo Bergamini-class for the Italian Navy.
Carlo Bergamini is the leadship of the class. The ship was named after Italian admiral Carlo Bergamini in honor of his dedication in World War II.
On July 16, 2011, at the Fincantieri facility in Riva Trigoso, the launching ceremony of the ship took place. The final delivery to the Navy took place on May 29, 2013, at the La Spezia headquarters.
This Italian Carlo Bergamini warship is clearly a destroyer, but being called frigates for political reasons. This ship is also slightly larger than the French Aquitaine-class.
Carlo Bergamini F590 frigate is produced for General Purpose role. The Italian frigate is designed with “super high” superstructure and looks very majestic. The bridge allows operators to manage and control all platform systems, as well as to monitor safety and security and to coordinate other operations.
The frigate’s layout has been designed to provide sufficient size for operational effectiveness, maintainability and sustained upgrades. The layout incorporates increased headroom between decks, deeper and longer engine compartments and larger equipment pathways for access and maintenance. The general characteristics of the vessel is a displacement of 6900tons, length of 144.6m, beam of about 20m.
For quayside maintenance, the frigate is fitted with an aft side door for loading and unloading equipment, load handling equipment and a wide lower deck passage way. Consoles on the integrated bridge are for all main platform functions, including navigation, steering and communications.
The propulsion system of the ship is equipped Combined diesel-electric and gas turbines with two shafts driving fixed-pitch propellers. For normal operation the ship use a single General Electric LM2500+G4 gas turbine, developing 42,900 shaft horsepower.
For slow-speed and quiet anti-submarine operations the ship use hybrid electric propulsion with two 2.5 megawatt electric motors which are connected to the propeller shafts. These are powered by 4 diesel generators.
Maximum speed is 29 knots. Maximum range is 6,700 nautical miles at 15 knots. The Italian vessel is slightly faster and have longer range than its French counterparts.
The ship has a crew of 145 persons while 9 more persons are added to the crew for a second helicopter on board. The vessel can accomodate up to 200 people in total.
The stern has a helicopter hangar and flight deck for two helicopters, the vessel can accommodate one or two NH90 Anti-submarine warfare helicopters or one NH90 and one AW101 helicopters, or UAV Moreover.
F590 frigate carries two Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats for commando operations, one of 7m at the right side and one of 11m at the left side.
Sensor and Armament
These Italian warships have enhanced stealth features, including reduced radar cross section and noise levels. At the top of Carlo Bergamini’s mast mounted the primary radar, the Selex MFRA multi-functional active phased array radar. It can detect air targets at a range of more than 400 km. It also provides fire control for air defense missiles.
There is a 16-cell Vertical Launch System for Aster-15 and Aster-30 surface-to-air missiles. The Aster-15 has a range of around 30 km, while the Aster-30 have a range of around 120 km. However this loadout of 16 missiles is comparatively small for such a large warship.
The most powerful weapon on board is 4 Otomat Mk2 anti-ship missiles. The missile has a range of up to 180km, a high subsonic speed Mach 0.9 and carries a warhead of 210kg capable piercing up to 80mm of steel. The warhead is designed to explode inside the ship with the force of the explosion directed to the bottom of the target ship. Otomat is one of the most powerful of all modern western anti-ship missiles having a mid course data-link and land attack capability.
For anti-submarine warfare operations, the Frigate is equipped with MBDA Milas all-weather anti-submarine warfare weapon system. Two triple Eurotorp B515 324mm torpedo launchers for MU90 torpedoes. The torpedo, is of fire-and-forget type and it has been designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine, acoustically coated, deep and fast-evasive, deploying active or passive anti-torpedo effectors while it has an extreme agility and maneuverability. The torpedo equips also the NH90 and AW101 Merlin helicopters for ASW operations.
Carlo Bergamini is equipped with a single OTO Melara 76mm gun. The 76mm guns are dual-purpose weapons. These rapid-firing guns use guided shells and can engage surface, air and land targets. These also act as close-in weapon systems for last ditch defense against incoming missiles. Also there are two 25mm remotely-controlled cannons that are used to engage small surface threats.
Military experts evaluated, Carlo Bergamini frigate better than the French version in many respects, especially air defense. However, the firepower of the Italian version is weaker despite the greater displacement, the Italian ship do not carry any ground attack cruise missiles.
Considered the backbone of French and Italian naval forces in the future, the European multi-purpose frigate co-developed by France and Italy are capable of ensuring the performance of submarine hunting missions, air defense, naval battle and suitable for asymmetric war conditions.
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