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Italian Ships Get Smaller

The Italian Navy may change the design of PPA general purpose vessels. If the change is decided, the ships will get smaller and the platforms will be gained anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Italy has ordered seven frigates with a contract worth US $ 6.3 billion. Three of these vessels are already under construction at Fincantieri Shipyard. Preparation works undergo for fourth ship.

PPA's, which are about the same length as FREMM's, are three meters narrower and displacement is about 6,000 tons. These dimensions mean that the PPAs are not as big as the FREMMs, but they are much bigger than the frigates with the 2,000-ton displacement already in service. Therefore, the Italian navy, considering that PPAs would have operation problems with most port facilities in Sicily, took into consideration the option of converting the last three ships into smaller ships. In this context, studies are being carried out on two alternative plans. The first option is to convert the last three platforms into a 3,000-ton patrol vessel. The other option is the construction of 4,500-ton anti-submarine warfare frigates. In addition, due to the smalling of the ships, the construction of four ship instead of three at the same budget is might be optional.

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