Naviris moves forward on the mid-life upgrade of the horizon frigates

28 juin 2023 Communiqué de presse

During the Paris Air Show on June 20th, France and Italy representatives signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) of the four Horizon Frigates of the French and Italian Navies. Their modernization will be entrusted to Naviris, the 50/50 owned joint venture by Fincantieri and Naval Group and Eurosam, a consortium formed by MBDA and Thales. A formal contract will be signed in a few weeks, by Naviris, Eurosam and OCCAR, representing Italy and France.

This step follows a feasibility study phase, which was signed in 2020 by Naviris as prime contractor and OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation). This study was the first stage of the project and it was mainly focused on the anti-aircraft defense system of the four vessels. It aimed at identifying and analyzing the modifications to be implemented on the French and Italian Horizon class Frigates to increase their capabilities until the end of their life cycle.

This cooperation will cover the overall modernization of the Frigates, with a focus on the anti-air defense system (including the radars, weapons and associated Control and Command), the platform and combat system, and the electronic warfare system that will be common to both Nations.

Naviris will work in close relationship with its co-contractor Eurosam, its parent companies Fincantieri and Naval Group, and its other industrial partners including Leonardo, Thales, MBDA and Sigen. Naviris will be in charge of work on the Combat System Modernization (Anti Air Warfare integration, new electronic warfare, new communication, new combat management system, upgrade and obsolescence treatment, new optronic) & also platform modernization (new ship management system, upgrade and obsolescence treatment), while Eurosam will be responsible to upgrade the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) and Long Range Radar (LRR).
The Horizon Frigates were originally built between 2000 and 2010 in a joint program between Fincantieri and Naval Group, providing the Italian and French Navies with two first-class anti-air Frigates each. Within this context, the coordinated work of seven industrial partners co-led by Naviris and eurosam will answer to the need of the rationalization of the Frigates’ performance, availability and maintenance.

This contract marks the continuation of a long-standing industrial cooperation between France and Italy. The modernization of the Horizon Frigates, carried out jointly by the two countries via the Naviris subsidiary, is part of this continuity. Naviris, with the support of its two parent companies Naval Group and Fincantieri, has built with Eurosam an industrial project which is also a binational cooperation between France and Italy.

Main characteristics of the four Horizon Frigates

  • length / beam overall: 153 m / 20.3 m ;
  • displacement / full load: 6,500 tons / 7,300 tons ;
  • accommodation: 210 (complement of 190 + 20 passengers) ;
  • range: 7,000 nm at 18 knots ;
  • maximum speed: 29 knots.

The vessel is designed for a range of missions, including high-intensity operations, all with reduced crewing. Horizon Frigates are front-line fighting ships with one highly specialized mission: anti-air warfare, also known as air defense. The ships’ chief capabilities are thus airspace control over areas of operations, air defense command and control and anti-air cover for carrier groups and convoys. Horizon Frigates provide protection against high-intensity threats and attacks by anti-ship missiles. They also contribute to air/sea control during military operations by providing air defense command and control of allied forces. They can also participate in public service missions.

About Naviris

Naviris is a 50/50 owned joint venture by Fincantieri and Naval Group, officially launched in January 2020. With this alliance bringing new opportunities to the surface ship market, Fincantieri and Naval Group have cemented their joint desire to build a future of excellence for the shipbuilding industry and navies. The two European leaders with complementary offers, supported by a large ecosystem, came together to better serve the world’s navies and mutually increase their competitive edge. They are materialising their shared worldwide ambition: the alliance is based on a mutual understanding of the challenges and realities of naval defence in the world of today. Naviris is dedicated to opening the doors to the international markets of tomorrow.

Naviris Contacts

Naviris – Media Contacts

Ilaria Castagnola
Mob: + 39 345.0848813 / +39 010 4228615

Naval Group – Media contacts

Véronique Page
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Bénédicte Mano
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Fincantieri S.p.A. – Media Relations

Antonio Autorino
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Mob. +39 335 7859027

Laura Calzolari
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Cristiano Musella
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Micaela Longo
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Emanuele Macaluso
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Mob. +39 344 2737019