La Spezia September 4, 2014 - The delivery ceremony was held today at the Muggiano shipyard (in La Spezia) for the "Kalaat Beni-Abbes" (from the name of a place in the north of the country, which in Arabic means fort of the sons of Abbes), a vessel commissioned in 2011 by the Ministry of Defence of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria from Orizzonte Sistemi Navali, a company controlled by Fincantieri in which Selex ES also holds an interest, to serve as the national Navy's new flagship.
The ceremony was attended, among others, by Gen. Malaoui, Head of the Supervisory Board of the Algerian Navy, Gen. M.L. Haouli, President of the Acceptance Commission of the Algerian Navy, Alessandro Concialini, Ceo of Orizzonte Sistemi Navali, Angelo Fusco, Executive Senior Vice President Italy in Fincantieri Naval Shipbuilding Division, and Ferdinando Tognini, the Riva Trigoso-Muggiano yard manager.
The "Kalaat Beni-Abbes" (which belongs to the BDSL class - Bâtiment de Débarquement et de Soutien Logistique) is a landing platform dock (LPD) ship, developed as a technological enhancement of the Italian "San Giusto" amphibious class vessel and retaining and perfecting some of the latter’s most significant features. The most important of these is the presence of an internal floodable dock, capable of accommodating a ready-to-go chaland (a 20-metre landing craft); the other two landing craft of the same size can travel attached to the ship's deck, and can be deployed using a system of davits. If necessary, the dock can be emptied to accommodate other types of vehicles.
The "Kalaat Beni-Abbes" is 143 metres long with a 21.5 metre beam and has a full load displacement of about 8,800 tons. With two diesel engines, it can reach speeds of over 20 knots, and carry more than 430 soldiers, 12 flight service specialists and 152 crew, for a total of about 600 people.
It has a full-length flight deck, with two helicopter landing spots, fore and aft. It is also equipped with a 60-bed hospital and several operating theatres, to provide medical support to both troops and civilians during humanitarian operations.
The contract, of particular importance internationally, also includes the provision of logistical support to the customer during crew training. In fact, the training of Algerian personnel by the Italian Navy, taking place since 2013, is using the facilities of the Fincantieri Training Academy, a project initiated by Fincantieri in conjunction with the Italian Navy with the aim of training the crew of ships in the process of delivery.
Fincantieri Training Academy, which is already serving the United Arab Emirates Navy, is a positive example of cooperation between the armed forces and industry through which Italy's naval excellence is made available to Navies around the world.
The order has required Fincantieri not only to build the main vessel, but also to oversee the design and to manage and coordinate the local construction of three smaller vessels, built at naval shipyards in Algeria. These support vessels, known as chaland, are able to carry 140 men or a heavy tank, with a maximum weight of 30 tons, and are an integral part of the equipment of the "Kalaat Beni-Abbes".
Also the realization of these units has been completed with great satisfaction of the Algerian Navy, sealing the success of this cooperation between Fincantieri and the North African state.