Horizon-class design frigates (CNGF project)

Horizon-class design frigates (CNGF project) 0Horizon-class design frigates (CNGF project) 1

Basic information

Country of build:

The Horizon class (French: Horizon-class frigates; Italian: Orizzonte-class destroyers) is a class of air-defence destroyers in service with the French and Italian navies. They are designated as destroyers by the Italians and using NATO classification but are referred to as «frigates» by the French. The programme started as the Common New Generation Frigate (CNGF), a three-nation collaboration between France, the United Kingdom, and Italy to develop a new generation of air-defence warships. Differing national requirements, workshare disagreements and delays led to the UK withdrawing from the project in 1999 to develop the Type 45 destroyer.

The FREMM multipurpose frigate were built using the same company structure as the Horizon project. France was to purchase four to replace its Suffren class, and Italy would purchase six to replace its Andrea Doria and Audace-class ships.

In September 2000, France and Italy signed a contract to jointly produce four ships, ordering two ships each which would deploy the PAAMS missile system.


The Italian Navy ordered two units, Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio, to replace the Audace-class. Andrea Doria was accepted on 22 December 2007 and received the flag of the Italian Navy. Full operation capability was achieved in the summer of 2008.


The French Navy ordered two units, Forbin and Chevalier Paul, to replace the Suffren-class frigates. The project cost France €2.16bn (~US$3bn) at 2009 prices. A further two Horizons were cancelled; instead, the two Cassard-class frigates were to be replaced by the FREDA air-defence variant of the Franco-Italian FREMM multipurpose frigate (later known as Alsace and Lorraine). France bought 40 Aster 15 and 80 Aster 30 missiles for their ships. On the Italian units, the three cannons will be upgraded to the 76 mm/62 Super Rapid Multi Feeding David/Strales version with the capacity to use the DART guided projectile in the anti-missile role.


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