Italian Navy’s Second PPA Vessel Francesco Morosini Begins Sea Trials

The Italian Navy’s second PPA Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship, Francesco Morosini (P431), successfully conducted her first sea trials on Nov. 4.

The ship sailed the Tyrrhenian Sea’s waves for the first time in a typical autumnal day and fair sea state under the supervision of OCCAR PPA Programme Division respecting a rigorous health protocol to ensure the safety of the whole team on-board from the risk of COVID-19 contagion.

During the sea trials part of important objectives were carried out such as the propulsion and navigation performances.

Francesco Morosini (P431) is the second PPA (Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura, Offshore Multipurpose Patrol Ship) vessel and is in light configuration. The vessel is named after the Venetian Doge Francesco Morosini.

The vessel was launched at Fincantieri’s Riva Trigoso Shipyard on May 22 this year. The delivery to the Italian Navy is planned on March 2022.

The first vessel of the class, Paolo Thaon di Revel (P430), also in  light configuration, was launched earlier this year by its builder Fincantieri at its shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia). She is expected to complete the sea trials in March 2021 and to be delivered to the Navy in May 2021.

In May 2015, Fincantieri received an order to deliver 7 PPA vessels to the Italian Navy as part of its fleet renewal plan, with OCCAR as contracting authority. The PPA vessels are planned to replace Navy’s four Soldati class light patrol frigates and eight Minerva class corvettes between 2021/2035.

The PPAs are being built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with delivery expected, for the first vessel of the class, in 2021, while the following deliveries will take place in 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), 2025 and 2026.

The PPA vessel is a highly flexible ship with the capacity to serve multiple functions, ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations and, in its most highly equipped version, first-line fighting vessel.

Based on a common platform, PPAs will be delivered in three configurations with incremental capabilities:

• LIGHT: Version with a complete set of artillery;
• LIGHT PLUS: Version similar to ‘LIGHT’ but with added missile firing capability and with actuators planned also for ballistic missile defence;
• FULL: Version to carry out tasks in all warfare areas such as Anti-Air (AAW), Anti-Surface (ASuW) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW).

LIGHT and LIGHT PLUS versions have been developed with the “fitted for” approach; FULL versions can quickly be deployed also on LIGHT and LIGHT PLUS, facilitating operational flexibility and growing capabilities during the vessel’s life.

The vessels are capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.

General Specifications:

• 132.5 meters long
• Speed more than 31 knots according to vessel configuration and operational conditions
• 171 persons of the crew
• Equipped with a combined diesel, a gas turbine plant (CODAG) and an electric propulsion system
• Capacity to supply drinking water to land
• Capacity to provide electricity to land with 2000 kw of power
• 2 modular zones at the stern and at the center of the ship that allow the embarking of various types of containerized operating/logistic/residential/healthcare modules (in particular, the stern area may receive and handle within a covered area up to 5 modules in ISO 20” containers, while the central zone may receive and handle up to 8 ISO 20” containers)

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