TRIESTE, Italy, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The first steel sheeting for a new Italian Navy FREMM frigate has been conducted at a shipyard of Fincantieri near Genoa, the company reports.
The cutting marks the build phase of the multi-mission vessel, the eighth being constructed in the multinational FREMM program.
A total of 10 FREMM frigates are being built in Italy, with Orizzonte Sistemi Navali as the prime contractor.
Italian FREMM vessels are about 472.5 feet long, 64.6 feet wide and displace about 6,500 tons. They have a speed of more than 27 knots and are crewed by 145 sailors.
The FREMM, which is also being built in France, was designed by DCNS/Aramis and Fincantieri. The first FREMM frigate, the French Navy's Aquitaine, was commissioned in 2012.
"This is a highly flexible vessel, able to operate in a wide range of scenarios, especially in patrolling and safeguarding the Mediterranean area," Fincantieri said.