Written by D-Mitch
|Comandanti class patrol vessel.|
Photo: Marina Militare Italiana
|Sirio class patrol vessel.|
Photo: Marina Militare Italiana
|Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details: modified photo of Comandanti class offshore patrol vessel. In high resolution click here.|
|Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details: another modified photo of Comandanti class offshore patrol vessel. In high resolution click here.|
The general characteristics of the class is a displacement of 1,520tons, length of 88.6m, beam of about 10m, maximum speed of 25knots and range of 3,500n.m. with the speed of 14knots. The ship has a crew of 60 persons while there is space for more. Each vessel has a flight deck and a retractable hangar that can accommodate an AB212 or a NH90 ASW helicopter. The vessels carry two large Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB).
|Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details: modified photo of Sirio class offshore patrol vessel. In high resolution click here|
The ships of the Comandanti class have one main gun on the bow deck which is the OTO Melara Super Rapido 76mm/62cal gun. There is provision for future installation on the Sirio class ships. Initially the 76mm guns were housed in non-stealth cupolas but later they were integrated in the STRALES system which consists of the
naval gun, a Radio Frequency Guidance System with the electronic control
unit and the DART ammunition. STRALES is an all-weather system that was
designed to engage and to destroy multiple manoeuvring targets with the
use of guidance ammunition for increased accuracy and therefore
lethality. STRALES includes a Radio Frequency Guidance System provided
mechanical frame to be connected to the gun-mount structure. A gun
shield is provided with a watertight cover which can be
automatically removed to deploy the guidance antenna; once actual target
position and stabilisation data are available, STRALES operates as a
stand alone system. The DART projectile is equipped with the new DART
microwave programmable multifunction fuse. The effective operating
range is greater than 8km while the maneuverability is higher than..
40g! A new Multiple-Feeding (MF) ammunition loading system for the 76/62
mm is also available as a separate kit which is
able to select any ammunition contained in the branches regardless of
its position (typically, DART and standard ammo). The gun can intercept
air and surface
targets at a distance of 16 km (6km the effective range against
anti-ship missiles) unleashing 120 rounds per minute weighting greater
than 6kg each. The gun has excellent performance in any kind of role,
such as air defence, anti surface, anti-missile and shore bombardment
role. It is claimed by OTO Melara that these guns can engage 4 missiles
before they reach the ship.
|Super Rapido/Strales. Photo: Marina Mlitare Italiana|
|The retractable hangar of Cigala Fulgosi|
|Italian SH90 (NH90)|
|Borsini of Comandanti class|
with the old gun cupola
|Bettica of Comandanti class|
|Foscari with new turret|
|OTO Melara 25mm gun system|
The ships are equipped with an X-band multi-mode surveillance radar Selex RAN-30X (SPS-791). RAN-30 X/I features up to four operational roles: Surface and Air Surveillance mode (detection and tracking of small air/surface targets; max. range 102km); Navigation and Helicopter control (high antenna rotation speed for navigation close to the coastline; max. range 41km); Over-the-Horizon (OTH) detection (low antenna rotation speed and long range detection capability; max. range 200km); Anti-seaskimmer missile detection (max. rage 25km). This mode has an high antenna rotation rate to ensure the detection and tracking of very small targets manoeuvring in clutter environment and featuring very low Radar Cross Section (R.C.S.). It is an automatic detection/tracker radar that can carry up to 255 system tracks (air and surface targets).
|Hatch has opened to retrieve/release an RHIB|
Part of the electronic equipment of the Comandanti class (there is provision for future installation on the Sirio class vessels) is a Selex NA-25X Radar and Optronic Fire Control Systems (FCS). NA-25X which is a modern fire control system based on the ORION RTN-25X tracking naval radar, a J-band fully coherent equipment which is characterised by anti-nodding, extensive ECCM and anti-clutter features together with high tracking accuracy. A set of two EO sensors (TV camera, IR camera) can be mounted on the radar director, to enable firing assessment and to provide an alternative line-of-sight on the same target. A third sensor (Laser Range Finder) can be mounted to provide a complete EO tracker facility. NA-25X can be provided with a dedicated multifunctional console or controlled by any console of the Combat Management System (CMS). The FCS can be easily integrated in every CMS and completely remote accessible. A couple of Targets Designation Sight (TDS) enhance the FCS configuration. Through an internal additional function, NA-25X system can be integrated inside an Artillery System (including at least two FCSs), to optimize the use of all onboard guns against multiple concurrent targets (missiles, air and surface targets). The system perfomrs the following tasks: radar and optronic autonomous search with automatic/manual self-designation, surveillance and self designation on ship's search radar video, automatic engagement of evaluated priority target up to firing action, automatic air/missile/shore and surface targets tracking, automatic detection of launched missile, control of up to three guns with different calibres in the anti-air/anti-surface warfare and CIWS roles, line-of-sight/line-of-fire stabilization and Track While Scan (TWS) on external naval data.
|Sirio during tests|
|Janus EO sensor. Photo: Selex|
|Comandante Foscari (P-493) in 2010, notice the absence of the EO sensor. Photo: Jimmy C. Pan, US Navy|
Until today the ships of the two classes have not been equipped with an ESM/EW system or chaff launchers. Elmer provides the communications system.