Surface Forces: November 26, 2000


France and Italy have formally signed an agreement to build four Horizon anti-aircraft frigates. The two French ships will enter service in 2006 and 2008; the two Italian ships will enter service in 2007 and 2009. The two French ships will replace the frigates Suffren and Duquesne, which will retire as soon as their replacements are in service. France plans to buy two more Horizons in their next six-year defense plan. These will be delivered in 2010 and 2012. The Italians will be the primary contractors for the ship itself through their Orizzonte Consortium. The French will be the primary contractors for the combat systems through Thomson-DSF and the DCN shipyard.--Stephen V Cole


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