https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2017/09/13/secretive-study-on-french-italian-naval-cooperation-kicks-off-as-stx-dispute-lingers-source/PARIS and ROME — A detailed study is quietly being undertaken on the architecture of a concept Franco-Italian anti-missile frigate, and exploring the idea of a European combat management system, according to a French defense source.
“The idea is to have a European Aegis combat management system,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. OCCAR “suggested” such a study be done, the source said, referring to the European procurement agency.
French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Sept. 11 on Twitter that there had been a “constructive meeting” with his Italian counterparts, seeking to reach an agreement on the ownership of STX France, a commercial shipbuilder at Saint-Nazaire, western France.
That study for an anti-missile warship is running silently while Paris and Rome seek to defuse a dispute over STX. Working together on warships would be a key element in cooperation sought for the two nations’ naval and commercial shipbuilding industries.
The “fairly discreet” study would set out the warship’s architecture and be delivered by 2019 after three years of work, the source said. The anti-missile weapon would be the long-range Aster Block 1 NT missile, and Leonardo would also work on the system.