Bergamini-Class Frigate: Power, Precision, Partnership

The Bergamini-class frigate is a collaboration between France’s DCNS and Italy’s Fincantieri. The two countries shared the research and development costs. This frigate is an impressive example of maritime engineering, combining French expertise with Italian finesse. It is an Italian version of the FREMM class and is designed to be versatile. The Bergamini class has two models, one for air defense and the other for anti-submarine operations.

Origins and Development

Bergamini-Class Frigate

France and Italy have partnered to create the Bergamini class, a modern naval vessel that incorporates unique contributions from both countries. France has covered 63% of the development costs, while Italy has paid for the remaining 37%. This partnership highlights their shared commitment to maritime excellence. Italy’s adaptation of the FREMM class frigate aligns with its maritime objectives in the Mediterranean region.

Construction and Scope

The Bergamini-class frigates are being built in the Trigoso Rio Shipyard in Sestri East, Italy, by the Fincantieri Group. The shipyard is known for its rich naval history and is considered the birthplace of the Italian Navy. The Fincantieri Group is building a total of 10 frigates as part of its effort to achieve Italy’s maritime goals. This project requires an investment of around 5.8 billion euros.

Bergamini-Class Frigate: Technical Specifications

Bergamini-Class Frigate

The Bergamini class frigate is a modern and powerful vessel with impressive specifications. It has a displacement of 6,900 tons and is 144.6 meters in length, making it both strong and imposing. The frigate is powered by a complex system consisting of a LM2500+G4 gas turbine and Isotta Fraschini VL 1716 diesel generators, which enables it to reach a maximum speed of 30 knots and travel up to 6,700 nautical miles.

Design and Stealth Capabilities

Bergamini-Class Frigate

The Bergamini class of ships has a modern and stealthy design. It uses advanced technology to remain undetected and has a tall superstructure that houses radar systems for optimal coverage.

The ship’s closed structure and low-visibility paint make it difficult to detect. The ship is designed to be discreet and has some differences from the Aquitaine-class ships. Despite its large size, the ship’s designers have made efforts to reduce its radar signature, which demonstrates their emphasis on stealth.

Combat Systems and Armament

Bergamini-Class Frigate

The Bergamini-class frigate is a powerful military vessel equipped with a range of weapons and combat systems. These include naval guns and missile systems that are carefully calibrated to provide superior firepower in air, surface, and underwater situations. To improve operational efficiency, the Athena combat management system has been implemented, allowing crew members to coordinate engagements with exceptional accuracy.

For armament, the anti-air warfare version carries:

The anti-submarine version has:

  • 2 x 76mm rapid-fire guns
  • Same missile load-outs as air defense version
  • Ability to swap some Teseo for Milas anti-submarine missiles
  • 2 x triple torpedo launchers

Bergamini-class (Italy) vs Aquitaine-class (France) Frigate Comparison

Bergamini-Class Frigate
Aquitaine-class

Here’s a side-by-side table comparing the key specifications of the Italian Bergamini-class and French Aquitaine-class FREMM frigates:

Specification Bergamini-class (Italy) Aquitaine-class (France)
Displacement 6,900 tons 6,000 tons
Length 144.6m 142m
Beam Around 20m 20.3m
Propulsion CODOG (diesel-gas turbine) CODOG
Top Speed 30 knots 27+ knots
Range 6,700 nmi at 15 knots 6,000 nmi at 15 knots
Crew 145 (general), 147+9 (ASW) 108 (ASuW), 159 (ASW)
VLS Cells 2 x 16 Sylver A50 2 x 16 Sylver A43/A70
Main Gun 127mm or 76mm 76mm
Air Defense Missiles Aster 15/30 Aster 15/30
Anti-Ship Missiles 8 x Teseo Mk2 8 x MM40 Exocet
Torpedoes 2 x 3 324mm tubes 2 x 6 F21 torpedoes
Helicopters 2 x NH90 1 x NH90
Radar MFRA C-band, RAN-30X X-band Herakles multifunction
Sonar UMS 4110 hull, CAPTAS towed AVIO hull, ALOFSA towed

 

So, in summary, while derived from the same FREMM design, the Italian Bergamini class has a larger displacement, longer hull, higher top speed, greater range, and more aircrew accommodations compared to the French Aquitaine class.

The Aquitaine has some advantages in torpedo loadout and may have a more capable multifunction radar. However, the two designs are relatively comparable overall, with certain tradeoffs made by each nation.

Follow-up Developments

The Bergamini-class is a new type of ship that will play an important role in the future of maritime practices. There are plans to improve its capabilities, and it has already started collaborating with other countries’ naval forces, such as China and Egypt.

This highlights the global significance of these frigates. The Bergamini class will also serve as the foundation for the Constellation-class frigate, ensuring its continued importance in shaping naval operations for years to come.

Conclusion

The Bergamini-class frigate is a prime example of maritime innovation that combines advanced technology with operational excellence. It was built and deployed with the spirit of collaboration and ingenuity. As the world’s maritime challenges continue to grow, this frigate remains steadfast, showcasing Europe’s enduring maritime power.

FAQs

Q1: What distinguishes the Bergamini-class frigate from its predecessors? A1: The Bergamini-class frigate is a product of French and Italian naval engineering, designed to cater to the specific requirements of the Mediterranean theater. It boasts a versatile design and advanced combat systems, making it a formidable maritime asset.

Q2: How does the Bergamini class contribute to Italy’s maritime strategy? A2: Italy’s investment in the Bergamini-class frigate shows its commitment to protecting its maritime interests and maintaining a strong presence in the Mediterranean. By aligning their naval capabilities with their national priorities, Italy reinforces its position as a major maritime force.

Q3: What role does the Bergamini class play in international naval collaborations? A3: The Bergamini-class frigate is an important part of international naval collaborations. It helps to build partnerships with countries like Egypt and China by training together and making purchases together. This allows ships to work together better and makes the world’s oceans safer.