The Horizon class is an air-defence class destroyers in service with the French Navy (Marina Nationale) and the Italian Navy (Marina Militare Italiana).
The programme started as the Common New Generation Frigate (CNGF), a multi-national collaboration to produce a new generation of air-defence destroyers. In
Italy the class is known as the Orizzonte class, which translates to "horizon" in French and English. The UK then joined France and Italy in the Horizon-class frigate
programme however, differing national requirements, workshare arguments and delays led to the UK withdrawing on 26 April 1999 and starting its own national
project, the Type 45 destroyer. Two ships were built for each navy, under a multi-national collaboration between the two countries, and for this reason the armament
and equipment are almost identical between the vessels in service with France and Italy. The class carries a variety of weapons and electronic equipment and it is
capable for any kind of mission. Great emphasis was given on the stealth performance and thus tilted superstructures, composite materials and special coatings
contribute to a very small radar signature. The French vessels of this class are
Forbin (D620) and Chevalier Paul (D621) and the Italian vessels of this class are
Andrea Doria (D553) and Caio Duilio (D554).


Specifications:
Displacement: 7050 tons (full load)
Length: 152,9 meters
Beam: 20,3 meters
Draft: 7,6 meters
Speed:
·       29 knots (54 km/h) with gas turbines
·       18 knots (33 km/h) with diesel engines

Propulsion:
·       CODOG (Combined Diesel or Gas)
·       2 GE/Avio LM2500 gas turbines (20,5 MW / 27870 hp, each)
·       2 MAN Pielstick 12 PA6 STC diesel engines (4,32 MW / 5875 hp, each)
·       2 shafts / 2 propellers / 1 bow thruster
Range:
·       6100 NM (11300 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
·       3500 NM (6500 km) at 24 knots (44 km/h)
Crew: 195 + 37 staff (accommodations for 255)

Aviation:
Flight deck (26,5x20 meters) & hangar (15x12 meters) for 1 helicopter (EH-101 Merlin or NH-90)


Armament:
·       3 x Oto Melara 76/62 STRALES gun
·       2 x Oto Melara /Oerlikon KBA 25/80 machine guns
·       DCNS Sylver A-50 Vertical Launching Sytem / VLS (6x8 = 48 cells) for a mix of:
        -  MBDA Aster 15 short range SAM
        -  MBDA Aster 30 medium range SAM
·       4x MBDA Teseo Mk.2/A twin SSM missile launchers
·       2 x EuroTorp B515/3 single torpedo tubes for MU90 Impact LWT torpedoes
Decoys:
·       2 x Oto-Melara SCLAR-H chaff/flare launchers
·       2 x SLAT anti-torpedo system
The kit produced by Gwylan Models includes:
·       Single piece waterline resin hull;
·       Sprues with all resin parts (2x);
·       Complete PE sets (2x);
·       76mm Gun Brass Barrels (3x)
·       AFT Brass Barrel Mast top (1x)
·       Decal sheet for all ships of this class;
·       Instruction sheet;


Hull:
This kit is cast as a single piece waterline resin hull, with excellent and complete moulded details in a very smooth surface, with air vents, Hangar door, watertight
doors, among others details accurately represented. The AFT Mast includes a brass part and the helicopter deck is accurately and detailed represented. Brass barrel
guns are also included and this feature has become a standard in Gwylan Models kit produtions. As mentioned above, being a waterline model, means the quick
works (immersed part of the hull) are not represented.


Resin Parts:
The resin sprues include the necessary parts to apply on the hull, which include among others:
·       FWD and AFT masts;
·       Selex SPY-790 Radar (FWD mast);
·       Tales/Selex S1850M 3D Radar (AFT mast);
·       OTO Melara 76/62 mm STRALES gun (3x);
·       SSM missile canisters (4x);
·       Oto Melara/Oerlikon 25/80 mm remote weapon systems (2x);
·       Multiple Sensors, radars and SAT Domes;
·       Decoy and jammers systems;
·       Gun Directors;
·       RHIB’s (2x);
·       Etc.

Important Note:
It’s important to point that Gwylan Models choose to represent the latest version of Andrea Doria Guided Missile Class Destroyer, providing the Oto Melara 76/62
STRALES gun, rather than the Oto Melara 76/62 SR gun used by the French Forbin Class Destroyers, as well as extra domes.
Photo Etch Sets (2x included):
The photo etch set is quite complete that I’ll just mention the following items: · Highly detailed cradles for the MBDA Teseo Mk.2/A twin SSM missile launchers; ·
Highly detailed parts for the AFT and FWD masts (mast yards included); · Whip antennas; · RHIB bay doors; · Safety nets; · Railings; · Vertical ladders; Etc;  As for
the EH-101 Merlin helicopter included in this kit, the quality is superb and allows two different configurations (unfolded and folded PE blades are included).


Brass Parts:
·       OTO Melara 76/62 mm STRALES barrel guns (3x);
·       FWD Top mast part (1x);


Decals:
The decal sheet provides hull numbers, hello deck markings as well as Bow thruster location signs for the two ships of this class namely;
·       D 553 Andrea Doria
·       D 554 Caio Duilio


Bearing in mind, that security red warning lines (around the 76mm STRALES Guns, 25mm guns, decoy and jammers systems) are not included in the decal sheet,
neither the Italian Navy Flag and Jack. The alternative is to use decals spares from other kits, although theses items will be include in further releases since Gwylan
Models was sensitive to the modellers expectations and needs!


Instructions:
The instruction sheet included is very simple and clear, providing an easy and systematic approach to build this model, clearly pointing with accuracy the correct
location of all resin, PE and brass barrels parts needed to complete this model.


Painting Scheme:
Although no specific colours reference is indicated in the instructions sheet, some modellers have used the Vallejo Model Colour 153 Pale Grey Blue for the hull and
other “vertical” surfaces, deck houses, masts, funnel, etc and the Vallejo 163 Model Colour Dark Sea Green to the decks and horizontal surfaces.
Conclusion: In my opinion this is the best kit produced so far by Gwylan Models. A stunning and superior casting quality model and a must have for your modern
navy ship fleet, or stock pile! A fair price for such a highly quality, detailed and complete resin kit with photo-etch parts and decals for all ships of this class as well
as brass barrel guns and other brass parts.Gwylan Models has updated the process used to create the 3D printed master patterns, and this has resulted in far more
detailed and smoother parts with no rough areas or visible print layer, which means less preparation and cleaning.
Ayala Botto
Lisbon, Portugal
_______________________________