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As widely known, on May 25, 2019, Fincantieri and Marina Militare launched Trieste LHD. The event is of capital importance for Italy and its military navy. With its 33,000t it is Italian navy’s biggest ship.

Trieste will be capable of hosting a 600 servicemen strong battalion as well as numerous vehicles to be stored in the 1,200 linear metres dock-garage tweaked for both wheeled and tracked vehicles. According to the company’s literature “thanks to her characteristics in terms of construction and weapon systems, the LHD Trieste will be able to project – in crisis areas – the landing force of the Italian Navy and support the Defence national capability projection from the sea, as well as to ensure the strategic transport of vehicles, personnel and equipment”.

Its 230m long helicopter deck allows for air assault operation thanks to up to nine slots for medium-heavy helicopters such as NH-90 and AW-101. Helicopter slots will likely be reduced to seven to install a sky-jump before Fincantieri will deliver the ship to Marina Militare, as it is now confirmed that Trieste can host F-35Bs and can serve as secondary carrier when Cavour will not be available – meaning a constant capacity of deploying a minimum fixed wing components virtually anywhere Italian interest calls.

The launch of Trieste marks another milestone in Italian “Legge Navale” (Naval Law), the special law that allocated enough fund to allows for the renewal of the fleet. In fact, Trieste is the first ship featuring Combat Management System (CMS) – see also our exclusive interview with Marco Buratti, Chief Commercial Office, Senior Vice President of International Marketing & Strategy Division, Leonardo - and radars developed for the new generation of naval vessels (LHD, PPAs, LSS).

For what concerns the CMS, Trieste features the most complete version of Leonardo’s ATHENA Mk.2 (SADOC 4 in Marina Militare’s nomenclature), with 26 Multi-Functional Consoles (MFC) and three tactical tables, one of which serving air operations.

As for the radar, Trieste LHD is the first operational ship mounting the new generation of KRONOS-family radars, namely the long-range radar KRONOS POWER SHIELD and the multipurpose KRONOS STARFIRE 3000 X-band radar. KRONOS POWER SHIELD has been chosen also by Qatar for its LPD, actually in construction at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia). The KRONOS family of radars actually includes four faced C-band KRONOS QUAD (1000, 2000, and 3000, depending on the size of the antenna) and X-band KRONOS STARFIRE (1000, 2000, and 3000) radars, and rotating antenna L-band KRONOS POWER SHIELD radar. The combination of QUAD and STARFIRE into the same superstructure - expected on PPAs in their full-combat sub-version – represents the so-called KRONOS DUAL BAND radar.

Marco Giulio Barone

Launching ceremony of LHD Trieste. (Photos: Leonardo)

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