Genoa - The steel cutting ceremony for the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship (PPA) took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Riva Trigoso (Genoa), marking the beginning of construction works on the second unit. The vessel will be delivered in 2022 and is part of the renewal plan of the surface operational lines for the Italian Navy, approved by the government and parliament and launched in 2015. The steel cutting ceremony of the first PPA took place in February 2017. The multipurpose offshore patrol vessel is 132.5 metres long, reaches speeds of over 31 knots, and can assist civil protection by providing drinking water and a 2000kw-electricity supply; also it is equipped with two modular zones at the stern and at the centre of the ship that allow the embarkation of various types of containerized modules with operating, logistics, residential, and healthcare capabilities. In a note Fincantieri explains that the PPA is a highly flexible ship with the capacity to serve multiple functions, ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity and support of Civil Protection operations, to being a front-line fighting vessel. There will be indeed different configurations of combat systems: starting from a “soft” version for the patrol task, integrated for basic self-defence ability, to “full” one, equipped to respond to three-dimensional threats (air and surface).