Patrick Durrant | Sydney
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, which has been down selected by the Commonwealth for the Sea 5000 Future Frigates program, has established its local company and will open a new Australian headquarters in Canberra soon.
Dario Deste has been designated Chairman of the new company Fincantieri Australia, and he will be supported by former RAN Rear Admiral Mark Purcell. Deste is also currently CEO of Fincantieri Marine Systems North America, subsidiary of Fincantieri in the US.
Deste said Fincantieri Australia will now manage the important phase of the shipbuilder’s participation in the competitive evaluation process for the SEA 5000 Future Frigates program.
“Fincantieri’s commitment to this project will be total and we will deploy all of the company’s strengths as a market leader. The FREMM Frigate we are offering is an absolute cutting-edge product.”
Rendition of Fincantieri's initial design proposal for the Sea 5000 Future Frigates program. Credit: Fincantieri
He added that Fincantieri Australia will be resourced with senior technical and other personnel recruited locally in Australia and drawn from Fincantieri’s global network of naval ship building executives.
“We are very happy with the team assembled so far and all of the people who will take part in with the team assembled so far and all of the people who will take part in bidding for this significant naval project will have an important role,” Deste said.
“I make particular mention of former Rear Admiral Mark Purcell, who has joined the team and whose experience will certainly be a very significant point of strength for Fincantieri”.
Fincantieri also announced that the Italian Navy’s FREMM Frigate Carabiniere, designed and built by Fincantieri, will visit Australian ports in January and February 2017.
While visiting Australia, Carabiniere will engage in joint training activities with the RAN and be made available to the public with open days planned for some Australian ports.
Carabiniere will depart La Spezia, Italy on December 20, 2016 and visit the Australian ports of Fremantle (Jan. 26-31*), Adelaide (Feb. 5-10*), Sydney (Feb. 14-19*), Melbourne (Feb. 21-24*).
“The best way for the Australian Government to observe the performance and strengths of the Italian FREMM Frigate and to assess its suitability for the RAN is for it to be in Australian and regional waters,” Deste said.
Fincantieri will be conducting global supply chain roadshows throughout February 2017.
*All dates subject to final confirmation.