ITS Alpino, prototype competitor for next Navy frigate, makes landfall in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. - The U.S. Navy showed off the newest generation of frigates in Norfolk Wednesday.

The ITS Alpino, a FREMM-class frigate, traveled to Norfolk from Italy. Its design is the frontrunner to be the next frigate for the U.S. Navy.

A version of the weapons system on board has been tested out in combat. It was used to fire cruise missiles that destroyed the Syrian chemical weapons facilities a month ago.

The Navy says these types of ships have impressive offensive capabilities.

"It is a state-of-the-art ship with the latest technology, best of industry technologies in design and in production," said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt (Ret). "[It] provides the platform for an incredible sweep of both sensors and weapons."

If chosen, the design could be in service for the next 40 years.

The purpose of the Alpino's trip is to improve cooperation between the U.S. and Italian navies and to highlight the potential benefits of frigates modeled off the Alpino for the U.S. Navy.

The Alpino will visit Baltimore, New York City and Boston after it leaves Hampton Roads.