The Ninth Multipurpose Frigate "Spartaco Schergat" Launched
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This news is classified in: Defense Navy

Nov 27, 2023

The Ninth Multipurpose Frigate "Spartaco Schergat" Launched

The Italo-French FREMM program continues

The launching ceremony of the Spartaco Schergat frigate, the ninth of a series of 10 FREMM vessels – Multi Mission European Frigates, took place today at the integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso (Genoa). The 10 FREMM vessels have been commissioned to Fincantieri by the Italian Navy within the framework of an Italo-French international cooperation program, under the coordination of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération  en matière d’Armement), the joint organization for European cooperation in armaments.

The godmother of the launch was Arianna Somma, granddaughter of the Golden Medal for Military Valor Spartaco Schergat, from whom the ship takes its name.

Among others, the event was attended by the President of the Regional Council of the Liguria Region, Gianmarco Medusei, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Edoardo Rixi, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Berutti Bergotto, the Director of OCCAR, General Joachim Sucker, and the Director of the General Directorate of Naval Armaments - NAVARM, Vice Admiral Giuseppe Abbamonte, welcomed by the Chairman of Fincantieri, General Claudio Graziano and Dario Deste, General Manager of the Naval Vessels Division.

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After the launching, the fitting activities of the unit will continue at the Muggiano shipyard (La Spezia), with delivery scheduled in 2025. The Spartaco Schergat vessel, like the other units, will feature a high degree of operational flexibility and will have the ability to operate in all tactical situations. 144 meters long, with a beam of 19.7 meters, the ship will have a full load displacement of about 6,700 tons. It will be able to reach a speed of over 27 knots with a maximum capacity of about 200 people on board.

The FREMM program, representing the  Italian and European defense state of the art, stems from the need to renew the line of units of the Italian Navy, including the “Lupo” and “Maestrale” class frigates, built by Fincantieri in the Seventies and Eighties. The vessel Carlo Bergamini was delivered in 2012, the Virginio Fasan in 2013, the Carlo Margottini in 2014, the Carabiniere in 2015, the Alpino in 2016, the Luigi Rizzo in 2017, the Federico Martinengo in 2018 and the Antonio Marceglia in 2019.

Chief Petty Frogman Spartaco SCHERGAT – Golden Medal for Military Value

He was born in Koper on July 12, 1920. Voluntary in the Royal Italian Navy starting from March 1940, and part of the “Frogmen” category, after having attended the course held at the C.R.E.M. School of San Bartolomeo (La Spezia) where he got the diver license, he entered in the 1^ Squadron M.A.S. (called 10^ M.A.S. Fleet in June 1941) as operator of special assault vehicles. He took part in the Gibraltar forcing missions in May and September 1941 and in the quest of Alexandria at the dawn of December 19 of the same year when, as 2nd operator of the “maiale” underwater assault vehicle led by Captain Antonio Marceglia (to whom the FREMM n. 8 is entitled), he placed the mine under the English battleship Queen Elizabeth, which sank in the port, due to the bursting of the charge, being unable to take part in the conflict a long time due to the damages sustained. He was captured and taken in the n. 321 English prison camp in Palestine, while in October 1944 he returned home participating in the War of Liberation in the Assault Vehicles Group. He retired in November 1945, becoming a member of the Role of Honour with the degree of Chief Petty.

Motivation for the G.M.M.V.
“Heroic fighter, loyal partner of his Officer, he shared the risks of a tenacious and dangerous training, following him in the most daring quests, inspired by the same fiery determination to succeed. He participated with him in an expedition of underwater assault vehicles, forcing one of the most powerful and defended enemy naval bases, with an action in which operational understanding and practical application brilliantly matched with the cold courage and self-sacrifice of men. After having covered several miles under water, overcoming difficulties and obstacles of any kind, he was a valid and faithful help to the Officer; he attacked the ship with firm skill, joining the fate of his Officer in captivity, constantly refusing to provide the enemy with any information; superb example of bravery when in action and possessing extraordinary moral qualities”.

Alexandria, December 18-19, 1941

Other decorations and awards for war credits:

  1. Bronze medal of Military Value (Gibraltar, 1941);
  2. War Cross of Military Value (Gibraltar, 1941);
  3. War Cross of Military Value (Western Mediterranean, September-November 1941);
  4. Promotion to Sergeant (1941).