Renewal of the Navy’s auxiliary ship lines

The Government has sent the request for a parliamentary opinion on the ministerial decree scheme for
approval of the multi-year A/R program no. SMD 30/2021, concerning the renewal of the Navy’s auxiliary naval units and related 10-year technical-logistical support.

The deadline for the expression of the opinion by the Defense Committees of the Senate and the House is December 28, 2021.

With reference to the purposes of the program the Defence Staff points out that the project as a whole aims to replace the Auxiliary Units of the Navy currently in line, but of old design, and dedicated to

  • coastal logistics support (current Gorgona Class);
  • service of lighthouses and maritime signaling, specifically provided as an institutional task of the Navy (current Ponza Class);
  • training (replacing the now defunct Aragosta Class),

through the realization of fourteen units characterized by simplicity of construction and versatility of use of which:

  • No.10 units version Coastal Motorcycle Transport – Lighthouses (MTC-F), which will perform a wide range of logistical and coastal tasks typical of an auxiliary unit intended to replace the Gorgona Class (Coastal Motorcycle Transport – MTC) and Ponza Class (Lighthouse Motorcycle Transport -MTF);
  • nr.4 Maneuver Training Version Units (TIRMA), conceived for the training of Naval Academy cadets in navigation and maneuvering techniques in coastal and port areas, intended to
    replacement of the training units of the Lobster Class.

The new units will meet the following technical requirements, in view of the functions they will be called to perform

  • high maneuverability and versatility to be employed in non-threatening contexts;
  • effective use of modern automation systems for the safe conduct of maritime operations with minimal crew;
  • ease of operation and maintenance to minimize operating costs;
  • use of commercially derived equipment to facilitate operation in multiple national ports.

As far as logistic support is concerned, the new units will be equipped with highly reliable equipment/systems with adequate maintenance plans (resulting from logistic engineering studies), such as to guarantee the required readiness with high levels of operational availability, preferring the concept of Integrated Logistic Support (ILS).

In particular, the company to which the contract will be awarded must provide, at contractual level, the Temporary Global Support service, during the first phase of life of the assets (first 10 years).

The Units will have a logistic autonomy of at least 10 days (including the transported personnel, except for refueling).

The program for the implementation of the units is conceived according to a multi-year development plan with planned start-up in 2023 and an overall duration of about 10 years (2023-2032).

The total estimated cost of the program is 600 million euros, of which 210 million euros for the acquisition of a first tranche of naval units.
The first tranche of 210 million euros is financed as follows:

  • from the appropriations of the Ordinary Budget of the Ministry of Defense, deriving from the allocation of the investment fund pursuant to art. 1 co. 95 of Law 145/2018 (cap. 7120-38), for 90 million euros;
  • on the chapters of the investment sector within the resources available under current legislation (cap. 7120-01), for an additional 120 million euros.

The next tranche of 390 million euros (acquisition of the remaining Naval vessels…) will be contracted out subject to the identification of resources to be allocated from separate financial instruments that may be set up in the future.

The 2021-2023 Planning Document provides for an initial allocation of 3 million euros for the three-year period beginning in 2023.

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