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Horizon class

Anti-air warfare destroyer

Horizon class

The Horizon class destroyers were jointly developed by France and Italy

 
 
Country of origin France / Italy
Entered service 2007
Crew 180 men
Sea endurance ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length 152.87 m
Beam 20.3 m
Draught 5.4 m
Displacement, standard ?
Displacement, full load 7 770 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 29 knots
Range 13 000 km at 18 knots
Propulsion CODOG propulsion with 2 x diesel engines (5 875 shp each) and 2 x gas turbines (31 280 shp each)
Airwing
Helicopters 1 x NH90 or AW101
Armament
Artillery 2 x 76-mm guns (France), 3 x 76-mm guns (Italy), 2 x 20-mm cannons (France), 2 x 25-mm cannons (Italy)
Missiles 48-cell VLS for Aster-15 and Aster-30 air defense missiles, 8 x MM.40 Exocet (France) or Teseo Mk.2A (Italy) anti-ship missiles, launcher with Mistral missiles (France)
Torpedoes 2 x twin launchers for MU90 lightweight torpedoes

 

   The Project Horizon started life in 1992 as a cooperative Anglo-Franco-Italian development. In Italy it was known as Project Orizzonte, which translates as "horizon". An international joint venture company was established in 1995 to produce the new warships. However due to differing national requirements this initiative was beset with delays and arguments. The Royal Navy wanted a larger destroyer, which would operate in the Atlantic ocean, could patrol large areas and provide air defense for the fleet. On the other hand France and Italy desired for smaller and less capable warships to operate in the Mediterranean region. Also there were workshare arguments. In 1999 the United Kingdom left the project. France and Italy continued development on their own. In 2000 a contract was signed to jointly produce 4 ships, two for each country. Originally four more ships were planned, tow for each country. But eventually these were never ordered.

   Italy ordered Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio. The first one was commissioned in 2007. It reached full operational capability in 2008. The second ship followed in 2009. These replaced two Audace class destroyers. Both of these ships were built in Italy.

   France ordered Forbin and Chevalier Paul. The first one was commissioned in 2008 and the second followed in 2009. These replaced Suffren class carrier escorts. Both of these ships were built in France.

   Eventually the Royal Navy developed its equivalent - the Daring class destroyers. These have many similarities with the Horizon class ships. The lead ships was commissioned in 2009. Royal Navy operates a total of 6 of these anti air warfare destroyers. These are the largest surface combatants operated by the Royal Navy since World War II.

   The Horizon class ships are officially referred as frigates. However considering their size and powerful armament these ships are clearly destroyers. These are called frigates purely for political reasons. These vessels have enhanced stealth features with significantly reduced radar cross section and noise levels.

   The main radar is the EMPAR phased array multi-purpose radar. It detects air targets and provides tracking for the missiles.

   The Horizon class destroyers are fitted with a 48-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) for a mix of Aster-15 (range 30 km) and Aster-30 (range 120 km) surface-to-air missiles.

   Anti-ship capability comes from two quadrupple launchers. French warships are armed with MM.40 Exocet anti-ship missiles, while Italian warships carry OTOMAT Teseo Mk.2A anti-ship missiles. These have a range of 180 km and carry a 210 kg warhead.

   The French Horizon class warships are armed with two OTO Melara 76 mm Super Rapid guns. These rapid-firing dual purpose guns can engage both surface and air targets and even act as Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS). On French ships last ditch defense is provided by a SADRAL launcher with six Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles. Also there are two 20-mm automatic cannons for engaging small surface targets.

   On the other hand Italian warships are armed with three 76 mm rapid-firing guns. Also there are two Oerlikon 25 mm cannons for engaging small surface targets.

   These destroyers are armed with 2 twin launchers for MU90 lightweight torpedoes. For defense against incoming torpedoes there are 2 launchers with SLAT anti-torpedo system.

   The Horizon class destroyers can accommodate a single helicopter. It can be NH90 HFH, or AW101. It can be used for long-range anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, utility and other roles. Aviation facilities include a flight deck and hangar.

   The ships have a Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) propulsion system. For economical low-speed cruising there are uses two diesel engines, developing 5 875 shp each. For high-speed operations there are two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, developing 31 280 shp each. These destroyers have a top speed of 29 knots (54 km/h). Maximum range is 7 000 nautical miles (13 000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h).

 

Italian Navy

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Andrea Doria (D553) 2002 2005 2007

active, in service

Caio Duilio (D554) 2003 2007 2009

active, in service

 

French Navy

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Forbin 2002 2005

2008

active, in service

Chevalier Paul 2003 2006 2009

active, in service

 

 
Horizon class

Horizon class

Horizon class

Horizon class

Horizon class


 
Horizon class

Horizon class

Horizon class

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