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Fincantieri launches new LHD for Italian Navy

31 May 2019
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The LHD Trieste during its launch. Note the limited space between the shipyard and Castellammare port’s pier: just 450 m for a 214 m hull length, which required specific arrangements to increase hull friction in the water. Source: Luca Peruzzi

The Italian Navy's new landing helicopter dock (LHD) Trieste was launched at Fincantieri's Castellammare di Stabia shipyard on 25 May.

The new LHD, which features dual-use capabilities for a wide range of military and humanitarian missions, is being built under a EUR1.1 billion (USD1.3 billion) contract awarded to an industrial consortium comprising prime contractor Fincantieri and Leonardo in July 2015.

Following its launch, Trieste will remain at Castellammare di Stabia shipyard for propulsion and navigation outfitting ahead of platform trials, which are scheduled to take place in March 2020. It will then be moved to Fincantieri's Muggiano shipyard in La Spezia for combat system outfitting and trials, which are scheduled for August 2021, leading to handover to the Italian Navy in 2022.

With a full load displacement of 33,000 tonnes, an overall length of 245 m, and a 47 m beam, the new LHD features a 230×36 m flight deck with a ski-jump (not yet fitted at launch) to support F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) operations and nine helicopter landing spots (six on left and three on the right of the flight deck).

The combined diesel electric or gas (CODLOG) propulsion system - comprising two 36 MW Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines, two 12 MW MAN 20V32/44R diesel engines, and two 2,25 MW electrical motors on twin shafts - will provide for a maximum speed of 25 kt and a range of 7,000 n miles at 16 kt.

The 25×107 m, circa 2,300 sq m hangar, served by two 40-tonne capacity aircraft lifts, can accommodate aircraft and vehicles (530 lane m). The forward vessel area features a fully equipped NATO Role 2E hospital with operating rooms equipped with 27 beds as well as a 470 sq m amphibious C4I operations area. The main garage underneath and stern well deck can accommodate wheeled and armoured vehicles weighing up to 62 tonnes (235 lane m) and up to four new 23.3 m LC23 landing craft supplied by Cantiere Navale Vittoria.

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