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Italian Coast Guard’s New Offshore Patrol Vessels Will Deliver Enhanced Capabilities

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri recently released a video showing the launch of the Luigi Dattilo (CP 940), the first of two multi-purpose offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) being built for the Italian Coast Guard (Guardia Costiera). The Luigi Dattilo was launched last December and began final acceptance trials this July. The second-of-class, Ubaldo Diciotti (CP 941), was launched July 15 and will begin acceptance trials later in 2013. Both ships were built at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia shipyard in Naples, Italy.

The ships measure 310 feet (94.5 meters) in length and weigh in at 3,600 tons fully loaded. A hybrid propulsion system that includes Seastema Fincantieri/ABB joint venture electric motors will power the ships to speeds of about 18 knots and a range of 3,000 miles. Up to four rescue craft can be operated thanks to twin lateral stations with single-point davits. The expansive deck space allows for extra equipment, and a large stern door can be used for vehicles. The ships can accommodate up to 60 personnel in addition to the 38 crew members. If there is an emergency situation, 600 additional people can be carried aboard.

The Luigi Dattilo and Ubaldo Diciotti will become the largest ships in the Italian Coast Guard and bring a range of enhanced capabilities. The ships will be utilized for high-seas search-and-rescue, fisheries protection, maritime border control, and pollution and wider maritime protection. The ships will be able to land helicopters such as the Agusta-Bell AB 412, the Italian-built version of the Bell 412 EP used by the Coast Guard, Carabinieri, and the Guardia di Finanza, or the AgustaWestland AW139, used by the Coast Guard and the Italian Air Force.

AgustaWestland AW139

The Italian Coast Guard’s new multi-purpose offshore patrol vessels will be able to land AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters. Italian Coast Guard photo

The ships measure 310 feet (94.5 meters) in length and weigh in at 3,600 tons fully loaded. A hybrid propulsion system that includes Seastema Fincantieri/ABB joint venture electric motors will power the ships to speeds of about 18 knots and a range of 3,000 miles. Up to four rescue craft can be operated thanks to twin lateral stations with single-point davits. The expansive deck space allows for extra equipment, and a large stern door can be used for vehicles. The ships can accommodate up to 60 personnel in addition to the 38 crew members. If there is an emergency situation, 600 additional people can be carried aboard.

Kelvin Hughes Ltd. is providing the ships with SharpEye solid state radar that is aimed at providing surveillance capabilities for asymmetric threats and to enhance detection capabilities aimed at identifying small radar targets. SharpEye has the ability to detect, track, and discriminate between small and fast targets simultaneously at both short and long range. This will give the Italian Coast Guard situational awareness of potential threats, both short range and beyond the horizon. “By utilizing both technologies, magnetron and the solid state SharpEye, we have been able to offer a cost-effective solution whilst meeting the situational awareness requirements of the Italian Coast Guard,” said Rohan Dearlove, Head of Sales for the EMEA region at Kelvin Hughes.

Ubaldo Diciotti (CP 941)

Fincantieri launched the second-of-class offshore patrol vessel, Ubaldo Diciotti (CP 941), on July 15, 2013. Fincantieri photo

An integrated C2 system, built around Seastema’s SEAS-Navy ship automation system and the Raytheon Anschütz integrated bridge system, will give the ship’s commanders access to previously unknown levels of information, as far as the Italian Coast Guard goes. The Luigi Dattilo and Ubaldo Diciotti will be the first military ships to receive the Raytheon Anschütz integrated bridge system and the Seastema ship automation system. “Proven and deployed on commercial vessels, our integrated bridge systems are scalable and adaptable to meet the needs and requirements of military applications for large and small naval platforms, designed to increase efficiency in operation and offer customization, such as control of any function from any place,” said Lüder Hogrefe, Managing Director at Raytheon Anschütz. The C2 suite includes electronic bridge display and information system, a dynamic positioning capability, a multifunction workstation, engine control and maneuvering stations on the bridge wings, three navigation radars, and a 55-inch touch screen for the tactical room. “Together with Seastema, we integrate the core ship electronics systems in a standardized but flexible manner to satisfy operational requirements of different missions and navies,” added Hogrefe. Seastema will also provide advanced radar processors and a thermal imaging system that will allow the ships to find and track surface marine pollution.

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Steven Hoarn is the Editor/Photo Editor for Defense Media Network. He is a graduate of...