The steel cutting ceremony of the multipurpose amphibious unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock) took place in July at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Castellammare di Stabia.
The new unit will be delivered in 2022 and it falls within the renewal plan of the operational lines of the Italian Navy vessels, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015. The multi-year program for the renewal of the Italian Navy’s fleet foresees the construction, besides the LHD - whose works officially start today – of seven Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ships (PPA), with other three in option, as well as the logistic support ship (LSS) Vulcano.
The LHD will be classified by RINA Services pursuant international conventions about prevention of pollution regarding the more traditional aspects, like the ones of the MARPOL Convention, as well as those not yet mandatory, as the Hong Kong Convention about ship recycling.
The unit will be approximately 200 meters long with a maximum speed of 25 knots. It will be equipped with a combined diesel and gas turbine plant (CODOG) and will be able to accommodate on board over 1,000 people, of whom more than 700 military or civilian transported people.
The LHD's main mission is the transport of people, vehicles and loads of different kinds and in their transfer on land in port areas through on board systems and in not equipped areas with various kinds of vessels (such as the small LCM landing craft units with a load capacity up to 60 tons, four of which can be admitted, launched, and recovered through a flooded basin, located on the stern of the vessel).
The LHD’s military profile use provides transport and landing, in equipped and non-equipped areas, of troupes, military vehicles, logistic equipment, using the provided features and means of transfer.
The civil profile use provides:
- Healthcare and hospital support
- Transfer and landing of people and wheeled or crawled means of transport in equipped and non-equipped areas
- Supply of drinking water to land through onboard desalination plants or storages
- Supply of electricity to land with 2000 kw of power and its distribution through containerized conversion and distribution units
- Possibility of accommodating specialized staff on board or hosting up to 700 civilian personnel, plus the same number in containerized residential units
- Rescue operations base through helicopters and boar staffing vessels
Equipped with wide embarkment areas of about 4500mq within dock-garage and hangar-garage and a continuous open deck, able to receive wheeled vehicles of various kinds, containers and helicopters, the unit can perform several military and civil missions.
The different areas of cargo securing are accessible through stern and side ramps, and cargo handling will be managed by internal ramps and elevators.
On board there will be a fully equipped hospital, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist’s office, and a hospital rooms capable of hosting 28 seriously injured patients (further admissions are possible through duly equipped container modules).
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