TRIESTE, Italy, March 7 (UPI) -- Steel has been cut at a Fincantieri's shipyard for the sixth FREMM frigate for the Italian navy.
The FREMM is a multi-mission ship designed by DCNS of France and Fincantieri. The vessels are either 466 fee or 472 feet long -- depending on French or Italian versions -- have a speed of more than 27 knots, a range of more than 6,000 nautical miles and a displacement of 6,500 of tons.
The Italian navy plans for six FREMM frigates and has an option to procure four additional ships. France plans on a fleet of nine FREMMs.
The prime contractor Prime FREMM contractor for Italy is Orizzonte Sistemi Navali, a Fincantieri subsidiary.
The ship for which the steel cutting was conducted will be delivered to the Italian navy in 2017.
"This is a further step in the European Multi-Mission Frigate construction program, the most important joint initiative to date among European industries in the Naval Defense field," Fincantieri said.