TRIESTE, Italy, June 6 (UPI) -- Steel has been cut this week at an Italian shipyard for the seventh FREMM multi-mission frigate for the Italian Navy.
The frigate will be 474 feet long, 65 feet in the beam and displace 7,728 tons. Its speed will be more than 27 knots, while its range will be more than 7,600 miles at 15 knots.
Fincantieri, which is building the ship at a location near Genoa, said the frigate will be delivered to the Italian Navy in 2018.
"This is a highly flexible vessel, able to operate in a wide range of scenarios, especially in patrolling and safeguarding the Mediterranean area," it said.
FREMM frigates are the result of the European Multi Mission Frigate construction program, with both Italy and France producing the ships for their respective navies.
The prime contractor for the ships in France is DCNS. The first of class Aquitaine, was commissioned in 2012 by the French Navy. In Italy the FREMM is the Bergamini-class ship.
One FREMM frigate was built in France for Morocco, which is now operating the ship.
The prime contractor for Italy on the Fremm program is Orizzonte Sistemi Navali, which was established by Fincantieri and Finmeccanica.
The Italian Navy plans to acquire eight of the frigates.