French newspaper La Tribune reported that Egypt is on the verge to sign a deal with Fincantieri to purchase the Italian Navy’s procurement program – the vessels Spartaco Schergat and Emilio Bianchi. If they are sold to Egypt, the Italian navy may decide to order its replacement ships with anti-submarine warfare capabilities, an upgrade reflecting heightened tensions in the Mediterranean. In addition to the frigates, Egypt is waiting for four other frigates and 20 Falaj II patrol boats.
The Spartaco Schergat, the ninth of a series of 10 FREMM Frigates, is a general purpose-configured variant with a full-load displacement of 6,900 tons and 144 meters in length. It carries an OTO Melara gun, a 16-cell vertical launch system launching Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles, an MU90 lightweight torpedo launching system (Torpedo Launching System) and the Teseo MK2/A anti-ship system, based on the Teseo missile. The ship also has a flight deck for embarking two helicopters. The Emilio Bianchi, the tenth and final FREMM Frigate, like the other units, features a high degree of flexibility, capable of operating in all tactical situations.
The FREMM is a class of multi-purpose frigates designed by Naval Group and Fincantieri for the navies of France and Italy. The lead ship of the class, Aquitaine, was commissioned in November 2012 by the French Navy. In France the class is known as the Aquitaine class, while in Italy they are known as the Bergamini class. Italy has ordered six general purpose variants and four anti-submarine variants. France has ordered six anti-submarine variants, and two air-defence variants. The class is one of the five finalists for the U.S. Navy’s FFG(X) program.