Cassiopea Class Patrol Ship

Cassiopea Class Patrol Ship

The Cassiopea class is a heavy series of four patrol boats of the Italian Navy. They were built in the late 1980s on civilian standards. They are designed for patrol in safe areas.

Development and design

In the early 1980s the Italian navy developed two classes of corvettes to replace older vessels. The Minerva class were fully combatant ships to serve as coastal escorts, and equipped with modern sensors and armament, while the Cassiopea class were simpler offshore patrol vessels intended to replace the old Albatros-class corvettes used for fisheries patrol.

Construction of four ships (out of eight originally planned) was authorized in December 1982, with funding from the Ministry of Merchant Marine. Orders were placed in December 1986, with construction starting the next year at Fincantieri shipyard, Muggiano. The ships were built to mercantile standards, and the first ship entered service in 1989. A further two ships were cancelled in 1991, prior to the start of construction.

The ships’ main gun armament is a single 76mm/L62 Allargato gun; both gun and fire control systems came from scrapped Bergamini-class frigates. Each ship is fitted with a flight deck and fixed hangar to accommodate a helicopter type Agusta-Bell AB-212 ASW of the Italian navy. Each also carries equipment for dealing with pollution. Between 2012 and 2014 all units were fitted with Selex ES Janus-N IR optronic system. As of 2014 the ships, starting with Libra were fitted with new dual-band navigation (X/Ka) Gemini-DB radar systems from GEM Elettronica.

Specifications

Type: Patrol vessel
Displacement:
  • 1.130 t (1.112 long tons) standard
  • 1.500 t (1.476 long tons) full load
Length:
  • 79.80 m (261 ft 10 in) oa
  • 71.50 m (234 ft 7 in) pp
Beam: 11.80 m (38 ft 9 in)
Draught: 3.60 m (11 ft 10 in)
Propulsion:
  • – 2 x shafts
  • – 2 x diesel engines Grandi Motori Trieste BL-230.16 propulsion diesels 5.84 kW (7.83 bhp)
  • – 3 x diesel engine generators Isotta Fraschini ID 36SS6V
  • – 1 x diesel engine generator Isotta Fraschini VM-V6130T for emergency
Speed:
  • 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) maximum
  • 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) continuous
Range: 3,300 nmi (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Endurance: 35 days
Crew: 6 officers, 54 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 × SMA SPN-748(V)2 Navigation radar
  • 1 × AESN SPS-702(v)2 surface search radar
  • 1 × AESN SPG-70 (RTN 10X) fire control radar
  • 1 × GEM Elettronica Gemini-DB navigation radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Elint equipment
Armament:
  • 1 × Oto Melara 76/62mm Allargato gun
  • 2 × Oto Melara KBA 25/80 mm gun
  • 2 × 7,62 mm MG 42/59 machine guns
Aircraft carried: Agusta-Bell AB-212 ASW helicopter
Aviation facilities: Hangar and flight deck

Operators

  • Italian Navy – 4 units in active, first unit commisioned in 1989. Retiring 2022–23 being replaced by Thaon di Revel-class.
Related Armament

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