European OCCAR organization manages the Logistic Support Ship LSS program for Italy and France

According to information published on November 19, 2020, the European OCCAR organization (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement / Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) manages the Logistic Support Ship (LSS) Programme for Italy and France. The LSS Programme comprises the Development and Production of five ships, along with In Service Support. The ships have been designed from the outset with enhanced “dual use” features for military operations and civilian rescue operations.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of LSS Logistic Support Ship. (Picture source OCCAR)

The LSS (Logistic Support Ship) will be capable of supporting multiple missions, ranging from naval Joint Task Force to HQ afloat operations, providing medical support (NATO Role 1 / Role 2 Basic) and transporting naval and aviation fuel, fresh water, ammunitions, lubricating oil, food, spare parts and 20 ft ISO containers.

During peacetime, LSS is designed to support Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance Operations and will display modular capabilities, such as modular hospital, electrical power/drinkable water ashore and 20 ft ISO containers).

With its state of-the art design and technical features, the ship will meet the requirements of a modern Navy in numerous scenarios, integrating projected future Naval challenges. LSS will offer an extraordinary capacity and a high degree of flexibility with minimal support costs.

The units are fully interoperable with NATO and EU partners and will be more versatile than the present generation of logistic ships, benefiting from extensive use of the modularity concept.

In 2015, the LSS Programme was integrated into OCCAR and the contract for Italy became effective. In June 2016, Brazil obtained Observer status in the Programme.

With the amendment of the Programme Management Authorisation (PMA) in July 2017, France commenced the integration process into the LSS Programme. The related Memorandum of Understanding between France and Italy was signed in July 2018 and the resultant Implementing Arrangement in November 2018.

France fully joined the Programme in January 2019 with the signature of the ProgD Amendment, and the French Global Contract for four Logistic Support Ships signed by OCCAR Director on 30 January 2019.

The LSS PD opened new offices in the OCCAR Malakoff site on 15th February 2019, followed on 3rd June 2019 by the activation of LSS PD satellite office in Saint-Nazaire in Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard. Nestled in the "Chantiers de l'Atlantique" shipyard of Saint-Nazaire, France, the LSS PD new site - manned by two permanent OCCAR staff members - provides direct support on the FL-LSS contract, for both Design and Construction phases.

The ITS “Vulcano” for the Italian Navy is currently undergoing sea trials as part of the Qualification and Acceptance phase. She is scheduled to be delivered to the Italian Navy at the early beginning of 2021, and will see the kick-off of the In Service Support phase.

For France, the FL LSS Programme is currently in Critical Design Phase, set to end in April 2021. In parallel, the production phase started in Saint-Nazaire on 16 May 2020. The LSS1, “Jacques Chevallier” is scheduled to be delivered to the French Navy in December 2022.

The Logistic Support Ship has an overall length of 193 m, a width of 24m, and a displacement of 27.200 tonnes. The ship can reach a top speed of 19.8 knots. She has a crew of 167 sailors and can accommodate up to 235 people.