Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Bergamini class (FREMM) frigates of the Italian Navy

Written by D-Mitch

Bergamini class frigate, GP version.
Photo: Marina Militare Italiana
Bergamini class is the Italian variant of the FRigate European Multi-Mission (FREMM) class, a class of frigates designed by the French DCNS and the Italian Ficantieri in a joint program to replace the existing destroyers and frigates within the French and Italian navies. As we mentioned in the article about the French variant, the Aquitaine class, the frigates between the two navies share some general characteristics, weapons and systems but also have several differences in the equipment related to propulsion system, electronic equipment and weapons following the different requirements of both navies. The Italian Navy (Marina Militare Italiana) is building two variants/versions of Bergamini class frigates, one for ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) role and one for General Purpose (GP) role; in this article both variants will be described. Italian Navy aims to replace the eight (8) frigates of Maestrale class and the four (4) frigates of the Lupo class with ten (10) Bergamini class which are devided in three variants including the AAW for the last pair of ships. Bergamini class is a class of stealth frigates with advanced Anti-Aircraft Warfare (AAW) capabilities featuring a common sensor and weapons package based on MBDA’s SAAM-ESD (Extended Self-Defence) area defence system, including Selex ES MFRA EMPAR-derived C-band multifunction radar with active phased array antenna and Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles in A50silos. EMPAR MFRA is an evolved version of the EMPAR radar (embarked on Orizzonte class destroyers and the Cavour aircraft carrier). In addition to that, each variant is specialized in a specific role, GP or ASW, with increased equipment to perform this particular role.

The first and second Bergamini FREMM during sea tests. Photo:

The general characteristics of the class is a displacement of 6,900tons, length of 144.6m, beam of about 20m, maximum speed of 30knots and range of 6,700n.m. with a cruising speed of 15knots.  The ship has a crew of 145 persons (GP variant) or 147 persons (ASW variant) while 9 more persons are added to the crew for a second helicopter on board. The vessels can accomodate up to 200 people in total. Each vessel can accommodate one or two NH90 ASW helicopters or one NH90 and one EH101 helicopters, and/or UAVs Moreover, each ship carries two Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIB)s for commando operations (one of 7m at the right side, starboard, and one of 11m at the left side, port) while the GP variant carries one more RHIB of 11m in the stern launching ramp instead of a Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) in ASW variant.
NEW modified photo of  a Bergamini class frigate GP variant of  the Italian Navy. High resolution image here.

STRALES in front of VLS
STRALES system, notice the frame
that covers the RFG system
The frigates have one main gun on the bow deck which is either the  OTO Melara (now Leonardo) Super Rapido 76mm/62cal gun on the ASW variant or the OTO Melara 127mm/64cal Lightweight (LW) on the GP variant. Each vessel has a secondary OTO Melara Super Rapido 76mm/62cal gun installed on the starboard roof of the helicopter hangar. The 76mm guns are part of the STRALES system which consists of the naval gun, a Radio Frequency Guidance System with the electronic control unit and the DART ammunition. STRALES is an all-weather system that was designed to engage and to destroy multiple manoeuvring targets with the use of guidance ammunition for increased accuracy and therefore lethality. STRALES includes a Radio Frequency Guidance System provided with a mechanical frame to be connected to the gun-mount structure. A gun shield is provided with a watertight cover which can be automatically removed to deploy the guidance antenna; once actual target position and stabilisation data are available, STRALES operates as a stand alone system.

Carlo Begamini's aft gun turret
Impressive view of frigate Carlo Margottini

Carlo Begamini's aft gun turret and FCS

The DART projectile is equipped with the new DART microwave  programmable  multifunction  fuse. The effective operating range is greater than 8km while the maneuverability is higher than.. 40g! A new Multiple-Feeding (MF) ammunition loading system for the 76/62 mm is also available as a separate kit which is able to select any ammunition contained in the branches regardless of its position (typically, DART and standard ammo). The gun can intercept air and surface targets at a distance of 16 km (6km the effective range against anti-ship missiles) unleashing 120 rounds per minute weighting greater than 6kg each. The gun has excellent performance in any kind of role, such as air defence, anti surface, anti-missile and shore bombardment role. It is claimed by OTO Melara that these guns can engage 4 missiles before they reach the ship.


The 5in gun of the GP variant.
Photo: Marina Militare Italiana
Carlo Begamini's (GP) main naval gun
The OTO Melara 127mm/64cal Lightweight (LW) on the GP variant is part of the VULCANO system which consists of four key sub-systems: the medium caliber 127/64 LW Gun assembly, the Automated Ammunition Handling System, the Naval Fire Control Support and the VULCANO family of ammunition. The system is intended for surface fire and naval gunfire support as main role and anti-aircraft fire as secondary role. The 127/64 LW - VULCANO is equipped with a modular feeding magazine, composed by 4 drums with 14 ready to fire ammunition each (56 in total), reloadable during firing, and highly flexible in terms of selection of ammunition, independently from their position in the drums. Ammunition flow is reversible as rounds can be downloaded automatically. The 127mm VULCANO ammunition family, is composed by Ballistic Extended Range (BER) and Guided Long Range (GLR) ammunition with different multifunctional fuses, sensor and final guidance that extend the range of the gun up to 100km. The rate of fire is 32rds per minute. General Purpose FREMMs are getting the highly Automated Ammunition Handling System for the 127/64 mm gun, which holds 350 127mm shells in addition to the 56 in the four reload drums of the gun turret.
VULCANO system

OTO Melara 25mm gun
25mm gun. Photo: OTO Melara
The frigates have also two OTO Melara Oerlikon KBA 25mm/80cal  guns which are installed one to port and one to starboard. The guns are stabilized, electric servo-drive assisted, while a weapon control is featured in order to allow the gunner to remain steady at any barrel elevation, laying the gun with the maximum accuracy even against targets at maximum elevation. A conventional aiming system is fitted to the mount, but also an IR sight with integrated ballistic reticule is available. The rate of fire is about 650 rounds per minute and the effective range for aerial targets is about 2,000m. The gun has two 126-round boxes on each side of it.

NEW modified photo of  a Bergamini class frigate ASW variant of  the Italian Navy. High resolution image here.

5in gun and VLS behind, notice a hatch to
the side of VLS that contains a crane for
ammunition loading.
The vLS behind the 5in gun
Behind the front gun and forward of the bridge, it is installed a DCNS Sylver A50 VLS with 16 cells (two VLS modules) for MBDA Aster 15 anti-aircraft missiles for local and area defence (medium range) and Aster 30 missiles that provide long range interception capability for area defence (see the video for Sylver VLS). Similarly with the French FREMM frigates, the space located backwards of the current silos allows for 16 more missiles, and specifically two A70 silos for land-attack/cruise missiles in the future. But as of today the Italian Navy is using that space for the crew accommodation. Both Aster 15 and 30 missiles featuring the same terminal dart. The Aster missiles are autonomously guided with a maximum range of greater than 30km for Aster 15 and a speed of higher than Mach 3 and a range of 100-120km and Mach 4.5 for Aster 30 that has two-stage propulsion system . The missile provides protection to the vessel against a full spectrum of air threats such as anti-shipping missile including sea-skimming and high diver missiles, supersonic and subsonic missiles, anti-radiation missiles UAV and aircrafts (see video) with a very high single shot probability. ASTER’s terminal dart is a lightweight, highly manoeuvring and agile missile equipped with a high-performance active RF seeker with capability against stealthy targets. Thanks to the unique combination of aerodynamic control and direct thrust vector control called “PIF-PAF, the missile is capable of high g manoeuvres. Together, these features give ASTER an unmatched hit-to-kill capability. The system has an extremely quick reaction time with high rate of fire and it provides full coverage under any kind of weather.

Aster 15 and Aster 30 AA missiles

Otomat launchers on Carlo Bergamini. Photo: the all seeing lens
The frigates carry the MBDA Otomat/Teseo Mk2A block IV guided anti-ship missile in four single launchers amidships while there is provision for four more (packed in quads). The missile has a range of up to 180km, a high subsonic speed Mach 0.9 and carries a warhead of 210kg capable piercing up to 80mm of steel. The warhead is designed to explode inside the ship with the force of the explosion directed to the bottom of the target ship. Capable of ranges from 6-180km in all directions, the system relies on powerful mission planning (3D way-points, terminal sea skimming profile, simultaneous attack from different directions). Target data is derived from the ship's Command System or taken directly from the ship's surface search radar. Mission Planning allows the selection of different firing modes (such as Fire and Forget or midcourse guided) and of specific trajectories and evasive manoeuvres. Cruise and approach phases may be either fully inertial or partially guided from the launch ship through a radio-link. Mid course re-vectoring from a co-operating ship or helicopter is also possible. The excellent capabilities of the missile (short reaction time, Fire and Forget, INS/GPS navigation, high target selection, ECCM and anti-CIWS manoeuvres, warhead lethality with no collateral damage) allow the system to operate effectively in littoral warfare environments, as well as in blue waters. The terminal attack phase is based upon an autonomous terminal guidance using an active homing head with improved target selection capabilities in complex scenarios. It should be mentioned that Otomat is one of the most powerful of all modern western anti-ship missiles having a mid course data-link and land attack capability.

Luigi Rizzo's gun, second GP variant in service till today (2017)

Launcher of MU90 torpedo
Triple torpedo launcher.
Photo: Gabriele Molinelli
For anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations the vessels have two triple Eurotorp B515 324mm torpedo launchers for MU90/Impact torpedoes. MU90 is a lightweight torpedo with a warhead of 32.7kg, a speed from 29 to maximum 50 knots (!), around 10km with maximum speed and 23km with minimum speed. The maximum depth is 1,000m. The torpedo, is of fire-and-forget type and it has been designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine, acoustically coated, deep and fast-evasive, deploying active or passive anti-torpedo effectors while it has an extreme agility and maneuverability. In the main counter-counter measures are included stationary target detection capability, decoy classification and anti-jammer tactics. The torpedo equips also the NH90 and AW101 Merlin helicopters for ASW operations.

Frigate Carabiniere (ASW) in a great photo

Overview of Carlo Bergamini. Photo: Marina Militare Italiana

MILAS missile. Photo: MBDA

Components of MILAS
The ASW variant of the Bergamini class is also armed with four MILAS anti-submarine missile system. MILAS is the European counterpart to the ASROC. Derived from the OTOMAT MK2 missile system, MILAS is an all weather, anti-submarine warfare weapon system designed to operate in conjunction with modern detection systems such as very low frequency active and passive sonar which provide long range detection combined with very high precision. MILAS is designed to carry and release an MU-90, or similar lightweight torpedo, close to the designated submarine position, as indicated by the ship sonar or by a co-operating ASW helicopter or MPA. MILAS is capable of ranges from 5 to in excess of 35 km in all directions. The firing system is highly automated and requires only a single operator. Once the ship’s sonar has detected an enemy submarine, the sonar contact is analysed and classified before a target designation is sent to a dedicated MILAS console. The system effectiveness relies on the capability to update the trajectory and the torpedo release point continuously during the missile flight, with the added advantage of modifying the torpedo settings in respect of target manoeuvres. The MILAS missile, featuring 360° gyro-deviation and in-flight re-vectoring to counter any avoidance measures carried out by the target, then delivers the torpedo in the immediate vicinity of the enemy submarine. On entering the water, the torpedo activates its own sonar detection and propulsion systems. Then, after a rapid searching phase, it proceeds to attack and destroy the target.  With its fast reaction time, operational range and availability, the system provides the launching ship and the escorted naval formation permanent and effective defence against the submarine, be it conventional or nuclear. MILAS missiles can also be used together with OTOMAT MK 2 missiles in a common system/ launcher for combined ASW and ASuW. It is bigger than Otomat, 6m long and 800 kg. Developed in co-operation by France and Italy, MILAS is in operational service only with the Italian Navy until today.

RHIB of 7m (right side)
Stern door for RHIB 11m
The aft mast. The small
antenna is a sensor that
unfortunately cannot be
Stern door for RHIB open
Aft view, notice the aft jammer

NH90 on flight deck
AW101 carrying Marte missile
As it was mentioned earlier, the vessels carry NH90 NFH or AW101 helicopters (two NH-90s or one NH-90 and one AW101). Both types can carry either MU-90 torpedoes (see previous paragraph about MU90) or MBDA Marte Mk2 anti-shipping missiles and/or machine guns. Marte Mk2/S is a helicopter-launched horizon-range anti-ship weapon. This fire-and-forget, all-weather high subsonic sea-skimming missile uses inertial mid-course navigation through way-points and active-radar terminal homing in carrying out its attack. The fire control system comprises a MMCU (MARTE Missile Control Unit) and a MIU (Missile Interface Unit). It carries a 70kg semi-piercing warhead  detonated by impact or proximity. The range of the missile is up to 30km. The frigates are equipped with a Curtiss-Wright TC-ASIST helicopter handling system for both helicopters.

Virginio Fasan's helicopter hangars opened. Photo: chesi
Carlo Margottini. Photo: Mercello Risolo

Front view of SLAT system
SLAT system. Photo: Emmanuel L.
The ASW variant includes the DCNS CONTRALTO-V Torpedo Countermeasures system (or else known as SLAT system) for surface vessels. The GP variants are fitted for, but not with the systems. CONTRALTO®-V is composed of several subsystems for an optimized defense against torpedoes: the reaction system, which calculates and suggests optimized evasive manoeuvres and sets off the countermeasures, the deployment system (launcher) fitted to several types of launchers (mortar, pneumatic, rocket) and the CANTO®-V countermeasure. CANTO®-V is a broadband active acoustic countermeasure. It is designed to saturate the torpedo data processing system by emitting specific and smart acoustic signals covering the whole torpedo frequency band in both active and passive mode. Its mission consists in exhausting the threat by creating and constantly renewing hundreds of false targets on a 360-degree coverage area (5 sec deployment). This concept, called dilution/confusion, is the only one capable of defeating advanced torpedoes while consuming less munitions and it is efficient whatever the number of torpedoes or their types and doesn’t need to be deployed far from the threatened ship. The system offers a 95% escape probability against torpedoes detected at 3,000 meters. Watch the video to realize how the system works.

SCLAR-H system. Photo: Enrico Veneruso
Both ASW and GP variants are equipped with two OTO Melara/Selex SCLAR-H (renamed to ODLS - O-Decoy Launching System) decoy launchers for 105mm or 118mm multipurpose rockets. The ODLS is designed for accurate deployment of decoys, thus providing passive defence for a ship against radar and IR homing missiles and can also be employed in shore bombardment role.

The forward mast and the EMPAR radar atop
OTO Melara SCLAR-H system
OTO Melara SCLAR-H system in action

EMPAR radar and ESM/ECM antennas
The forward mast of Carlo Bergamini
At the top of the forward mast in a large round radome it is mounted the multi-function phased array radar, Selex EMPAR (European Multi-function Phased Array Radar) Multi-Function Radar Active (MFRA) / SPY-790 MFRA, which provides simultaneous surveillance, tracking and weapons control. The EMPAR MFRA is an active radar (Active Electronically Scanned Array - AESA) and not passive (Passive Electronically Scanned Array - PESA) as it is the EMPAR radar of the Orizzonte class destroyers. EMPAR is the primary sensor in the FSAF/SAAM-IT and PAAMS missile systems. It operates at C-band, performing concurrently 3D detection, multiple target tracking and missile guidance. Specifically, the multi-function capabilities include full volumetric search coverage, low altitude and surface search, multiple target tracking (up to 300 tracks) and up-link transmission when needed for missile guidance. It counters different threats such as high diving and sea skimming missiles, aircraft and helicopters and any kind of vessels. The system provides an almost continuous 360 degree view while the maximum range is about 120-150km for aircrafts and 25km for missiles.
Click to enlarge: modified photo of  Bergamini class frigate ASW version of Italian Navy. High resolution image here.

Click to enlarge: modified photo of  Bergamini class frigate GP version of Italian Navy. High resolution image here.

Selex RAN-30X. Photo:Selex
Carlo Bergamini lead-ship of GP variants
The ships are equipped with an X-band multi-mode surveillance radar Selex RAN-30X (SPS-791). RAN-30 X/I features up to four operational roles: Surface and Air Surveillance mode (detection and tracking of small air/surface targets; max. range 102km); Navigation and Helicopter control (high antenna rotation speed for navigation close to the coastline; max. range 41km); Over-the-Horizon (OTH) detection (low antenna rotation speed and long range detection capability; max. range 200km); Anti-seaskimmer missile detection (max. rage 25km). This mode has an high antenna rotation rate to ensure the detection and tracking of very small targets manoeuvring in clutter environment and featuring very low Radar Cross Section (R.C.S.). It is an automatic detection/tracker radar that can carry up to 255 system tracks (air and surface).

From left to right: a Horizon class destroyer, in the middle a Bergamini class frigate
of ASW variant and a Bergamini class frigate of GP variant. Photo: Attilio Giacchè

Selex NA-25X. Photo: Selex
Overview of the front sensors
Part of the electronic equipment are two Selex NA-25X Radar and Optronic Fire Control Systems (FCS). NA-25X which is a modern fire control system based on the ORION RTN-25X tracking naval radar, a J-band fully coherent equipment which is characterized by anti-nodding, extensive ECCM and anti-clutter features together with high tracking accuracy. There is one sensor forward and one aft, each responsible for guiding gun's fire. A set of two EO sensors (TV camera, IR camera) can be mounted on the radar director, to enable firing assessment and to provide an alternative line-of-sight on the same target. A third sensor (Laser Range Finder) can be mounted to provide a complete EO tracker facility. NA-25X can be provided with a dedicated multifunctional console or controlled by any console of the Combat Management System (CMS). The FCS can be easily integrated in every CMS and completely remote accessible. A couple of Targets Designation Sight (TDS) enhance the FCS configuration. Through an internal additional function, NA-25X system can be integrated inside an Artillery System (including at least two FCSs), to optimize the use of all onboard guns against multiple concurrent targets (missiles, air and surface targets). The system perfomrs the following tasks: radar and optronic autonomous search with automatic/manual self-designation, surveillance and self designation on ship's search radar video, automatic engagement of evaluated priority target up to firing action, automatic air/missile/shore and surface targets tracking, automatic detection of launched missile, control of up to three guns with different calibres in the anti-air/anti-surface warfare and CIWS roles, line-of-sight/line-of-fire stabilization and Track While Scan (TWS) on external naval data.

Frigate Alpino in rough seas

NH90 aboard frigate Carlo Margottini. Photo: Marina Militare

SASS IRST. Photo: Selex
Front view of a GP frigate
Each vessel of the class is equipped with a Selex Silent Acquisition and Surveillance System (SASS) ES unit that uses a panoramic head developed for the passive IRST mission. SASS is a long range, passive IRST for naval applications, operating simultaneously in MWIR (3-5 μm) and LWIR (8-12 μm) spectral bands. It is able to detect and track air and surface targets (about a 100) with full 360° horizontal coverage and to provide InfraRed (IR) maps of the scene around the ship. It supports threat evaluation providing a statistical classification of tracks. SASS has a modular architecture based on a stabilised panoramic head equipped with IR sensors and an electronic cabinet hosting the processing and control units.

The third GP frigate, Federico Martinengo, which will be delivered in 2018
Nettuno 4100 electronic jammer. Photo: Electtronica
Thales Altesse ECM
The ECM equipment of the class is very advanced offering a range of high fidelity jamming techniques designed to counter long range search radars, target acquisition radars and missile radars operating in both their search and locked-on modes. It includes a Thales VIGILE ESM/ELINT system, a Thales TSB 3520 ATC & IFF Combined Interrogator Transponder two Electtronica ESM/ECM Sigen MM/SMQ-765 EW systems combining Thales ESM sensors and Electtronica NETTUNO 4100 electronic jammers (JASS - Jamming Antenna Sub Systems) for active electronic defence. The NETTUNO-4100 can exploit a wide range of ECM techniques against surface search and tracking radars in support of anti- surface engagements. Some of the characteristics of these jammers (according to the company) include a very high performance, smart ECM modes, both noise and deception, exploiting DRFM-generated jamming signals, multi-threat jamming capability, electronic beam steering (electronically stabilized against ship movements), high level of readiness (no warm-up), full solid-state design ensuring high ERP and graceful degradation in case of failure and high reliability and maintainability. Thales ALTESSE is a high performance wideband for Communication ESM providing early warning and tactical situation awareness capabilities based on interception and direction finding of the radio communication signals in HF and V/UHF band, that can be easily integrated with Combat Management System.

ASW variant Italian FREMM on high speed. Photo: Fabio Trisorio

CAPTAS VDS. Photo: Thales
The ships are equipped with a Thales UMS 4110 CL low frequency active and passive Bow Mounted Sonar. The hull mounted sonar covers a very large area providing ASW all-round surveillance as it can detect any kind of threat or object from a long range in any environmental condition. It has an excellent target positioning allowing to prosecute and engage distant submarines with organic weapons or airborne assets. The ASW variant carries a towed sonar array, the low frequency active and passive Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) CAPTAS 4 / UMS 4249. The sonar according to Thales is capable of very large detection (even very quiet submarines in deep and littoral waters) in every environmental condition and it is very accurate and reliable in target positioning allowing to prosecute and engage distant submarines with organic weapons or airborne assets, The sonar is deployed and recovered automatically (manned by a single operator!). The frigates include also a WASS 2000/I, Mines Avoidance Sonar (MAS) and a L-3 ELAC Nautik SeaBeam 3050 multi-beam panoramic echo sounder (only on ASW version).

FFG Carlo Margottini (F592) and its CAPTAS 4 towed sonar array in action

Digital Under Water Communication System.
Photo: Thales
The electronic equipment completes one GEM SPN-753G (V) 10 ARPA navigation radars (auto-tracking up to 50 targets), one GEM SPN-753G (V) 10 for helicopter approach control, a Selex SPN-730 Low Probabily Intercept (LPI) Navigation Radar and Precision Approach Radar (PAR), one Selex ES IFF SIR M5-PA and a Selex Full Integrated Communication System (Satcom UHF/SHF/Ku, Immarsat, GMDSS, LOS LF/MF/HF and V/UHF, Link11, Link16, Link22). Moreover, a Thales TUUM-6 Digital Under Water Communication System that offers Long range Low Probably Intercept (LPI) data transmission, high data rate transmission and communication with divers and two SOF ESUD Quick Pointing Devices (QPD). The combat system is the Selex ES Athena with 21, three displays, MFC (Multi Functional Consolle): 17 into COC, 2 in backup COC, 1 on bridge and 1 into Command Planning Room.

NEW addition!

The Improved Bergamini class FREMM as she was showcased during DIMDEX 2016. High resolution image here.

Naval Analyses in cooperation with Navy Recognition brings you the details of a new "Improved FREMM" that was showcased by Fincantieri during #DIMDEX16! The original photo was taken by Navy Recognition can be found here. The new variant is equipped with OTO Melara Single Fast forty guns (together with their fire control radars) instead of the SLAT anti-torpedo systems and in addition to that with two more 8-cell modules for more anti-aircraft missiles as well as for cruise missiles. An additional radar can be noticed also on the secondary mast (main mast in this case).

Bergamini class frigates (both ASW and GP variants). Photo: Marina Militare Italiana


      1. Excellent work, D-Mitch. I want to add only a few things:

        The italian FREMM are fitted with the SAAM ESD (Extended Self Defense) system, which includes, as you note, Sylver A50 launcher with the capability to employ the Aster 30 as well, instead of only the shorter-range Aster 15.

        There is indeed the space to fit another 16 cells behind the existing ones. The design came with a space reservation for fitting 16 A70 cells, as on the french FREMM. As of today, however, the italian navy is using that space for accommodation for the crew. Reportedly, space is at a premium on the italian FREMM, even after they have been lenghtened, post-built for the first ships. Some say that the extra accommodation space is so much needed that, effectively, fitting the additional Sylver modules is not doable, even if the design was specifically meant to enable it.

        The weird enclosed space to the side of the VLS silo, with the hatch, hides a small crane which i believe is used for main gun ammunition loading. The crane was initially meant to be removed after each use, but a decision was made to leave it there and build a protective case around it. I have a couple images i could send you.

        In the opening of the article you say the radar is the same as used on the Orizzonte destroyers. It is not quite true: as you write later in the article, the FREMM uses the more recent EMPAR MFRA, which is an AESA type radar, while Orizzonte uses the earlier EMPAR PESA, passive electronic scanning.

        You might want to mention that, with the lead of class already launched, the program was modified and all ships in the class have been lenghtened by 3.5 meters aft, to expand the flight deck and, although this is unconfirmed, to correct unsatisfactory seakeeping. Officially, the change was made to gain a larger flight deck to enable safer AW101 operations in rough seas.
        As a consequence, weight increased by 250 tons, accommodations for a further 21 men were added, and 100 additional tons of fuel can be carried, expanding from 6000 nautical miles to 6700 the endurance.

        Also worth mentioning that the General Purpose FREMMs are getting the highly Automated Ammunition Handling System for the 127/64 mm gun, which holds 350 127mm shells in addition to the 56 in the four reload drums of the gun turret.

        Finally, i see you have found a photo i re-tweeted a long while ago. Thanks for including it in the article and for mentioning me. Just one thing: my surname is Molinelli, if you can correct that.

        Thank you for your work, loving the in-depth ship articles.

        You can contact me at my email if you want.

        1. Dear Gabriele,

          I thank you so much for your comment, very detailed and you provide information that I cannot find anywhere. Indeed I did not give attention on the differences between the versions of EMPAR, stupid mistake.. I have corrected the mistakes while later in the morning I will add these nice details you mentioned. You cannot imagine how difficult was at first place to find which exactly torpedo launchers were installed on the ships, quite messy the info online. The manufacturer does not provide any info in comparison with Orizzonte class. Your photo with the torpedo launchers was really great and could prove at least which is the right system.

          I will contact you later via email, I need some sleep now ;-) Many many thanks again for your very useful comments and the kind words!

          P.S. I had corrected already your surname after you did "like" the page, I realized my mistake, I did not notice the comment on my blog though that moment

        2. My pleasure to help and provide what info i can. Via mail i'll provide you with some images and perhaps i can help locate some more information.

          I very much look forwards to more articles like this one!

      2. That's a very good article, the level of detail is better than anything I have seen on a website. I especially like the detail on the electronics fit.

        I do wonder how the author got the idea that the EMPAR was an actively scanned radar. I am not being critical, I realize that that idea is almost universal in the "blogosphere". It even says that on the Wikipedia article on the FREMM frigates (with no citation).

        I would just like to know because I am curious about how the idea got started and how it became one of those "everyone knows" kind of things.

        BTW the EMPAS uses a traveling wave tube and phase shifters. There is an actively scanned version known as KRONOS, but it isn't used on the Carlo Bergamini.

        1. Hi Vinny and thank you for your kind words. I really do appreciate them!

          To be honest, I had reported EMPAR as passive scanned array radar but then Gabriele (see above) corrected me. I crosschecked the information related to MFRA and I thought the information he gave it is accurate. You can see by yourself if you search here and download the brochure about FREMM. There, the EMPAR is indeed referred as MFRA, similarly with KRONOS which is an active phased array radar as you said.

          Of course if you can confirm the opposite I am all ears. Thank you again for your nice comment, I am glad when people pay attention to detail and help me to improve my articles.

      3. The EMPAR used on the FREMM, differently from the one used on the DORIA destroyers (Horizon) is an active, not passive radar system.

        1. It looks to me like EMPAR and MFRA have become confused, at least among English speakers. (It certainly confused me).

          MFRA (now KRONOS MFRA) is a replacement for EMPAR, not a version of it and I see that the radar of the Bergamini class is the KRONOS MFRA, not any sort of EMPAR.

          At least the company that makes the radar seems to think so:

          The KRONOS name seems fairly new but before it was called that it seems to have just been MFRA. I can't find any evidence that there was ever an "EMPAR MFRA" as far as Selex is concerned. When I see that term or “Active EMPAR” used in Italian it seems intended to be intended to mean “MFRA, which is the replacement for EMPAR" and not as the actual name of the radar.

          Just my opinion.

          Also I might mention that the radar with four flat faces (4FF) is a future radar which is being developed from the KRONOS family, the KRONOS MFRA is a single faced rotating radar.

        2. It seems you did not read my answer. I provided to you a link earlier that Orizzonte Sistemi Navali refers to the EMPAR radar of the Bergamini class as "EMPAR MRFA".

      4. It will be interesting to see the Australian sea 5000 bid design in the next cpl of years as i think they want 48 US MK 41 VLS.