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France and Italy's Horizon-class destroyers to receive mid-life upgrade

1st August 2023 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Only four Horizon destroyers were built as the programme was significantly curtailed as the costs of the ships escalated. The original plan was for the French Navy to get four ships and the Italian Navy six ships. When the UK was involved it had intended to build 12. (Photo: Fincantieri)

The Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) has awarded Naviris and Eurosam a €1.5 billion ($1.65 billion) contract for the mid-life upgrade (MLU) of the French Navy’s Forbin-class destroyers and Italian Navy’s Orrizonte-class destroyers.

The mid-life upgrade contract follows from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed by Naviris (a JV between Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and France's Naval Group) and Eurosam (a JV between MBDA and Thales) in June 2023 at the Euronaval exhibition.

Both classes of destroyer were built jointly under the Horizon programme from 2000-2010 that was a successor to the European Common Next Generation Frigate (CNGF) initiative. The destroyers host the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS).

Announced by Fincantieri on 1 August, the company said that it will receive a €211 million sub-contract for its part in the MLU focussing on the two Italian destroyers ITS Andrea Doria (D 553) and ITS Caio Duilio (D 554). Meanwhile Naval Group will conduct the work on French destroyers FS Forbin (D620) and FS Chevalier Paul (D621).

The destroyers will receive a complete modernisation of ship systems including hull machinery and crew habitations, sensors, weapons, C2 and EW.

The subsidiaries of MBDA for each country and Thales will work on the upgrade of the PAAMS and Long Range Radar, which will see an upgrade to enable the system to defeat next-generation missile threats including hypersonic, ballistic, supersonic sea-skimmers and high velocity cruise missiles; UAS; and highly manoeuvrable surface craft.

PAAMS includes the EMPAR radar and Aster 15 and 30 missiles launched from the A50 Sylver vertical launch system (VLS). PAAMS was developed with the UK before the latter country left the Horizon programme to pursue the Type 45 destroyer project separately.

The PAAMS upgrade will include the addition of the Aster Block 1 NT missile, the Kronos Grand Naval AESA radar from Leonardo to replace the EMPAR and the SMART-L MM/N AESA radar from Thales to replace the existing SMART-L radar.

The Shephard News Team


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