As the U.S. Navy shifts its focus to Asia, the naval presence in the Mediterranean is significantly reduced. Coastal countries are confronted with increased responsibilities to prevent criminal organizations from exploiting the gaps in maritime vigilance. The Italian Navy, then, will have to play a vital role in contributing to the security of the region, which will require valuable assets.
We are developing an innovative family of ships that will be high-performing and more versatile, benefiting from an extensive use of the modularity concept. From the outset, these units will be designed with enhanced dual-use capabilities. They will be fitted with a modular hospital, antipollution devices, and the ability to provide electrical power/drinkable water ashore, and to carry containers.
Our new ships will have a smaller environmental footprint, as they will further reduce polluting emissions by adopting liquefied natural gas, biofuel, and fuel cells for propulsion purposes. While they will have a reduced crew requirement there will be accommodations for additional personnel.
Among these ships, the multipurpose offshore patrol vessel deserves a special mention for her very high speed, long endurance, resilience, and seaworthiness. She will be able to respond rapidly at long distances to a broad array of emergency situations, even in very adverse weather conditions. This new family of ships will become the backbone of our navy, which will be more agile, affordable, greener, and better suited to face the challenges of the maritime century.