PPA X-Band Radar Passes Milestone

The PPA (Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura) Programme achieved another important technical milestone: the integration of the first two X-Band fixed sensor arrays (faces) of the new Dual Band Radar (DBR) X/C at the testbed in Pratica di Mare airfield, near Rome.

Following the successful completion of a single face Factory Qualification Trials (FQT), two X-Band faces were integrated and, for the first time, targets were detected and tracked over a 180 degrees sector.

Despite the achievement of this significant milestone, the PPA Programme and its team cannot afford to rest on these laurels, as further important challenges await them. Within 2020, the two X-Band faces FQTs have to be completed and the system trials onboard Italian Navy’s first PPA vessel Paolo Thaon di Revel (P430), with four faces installed, are to be performed.

Paolo Thaon di Revel (P430)
Italian Navy’s first PPA Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship, Paolo Thaon di Revel (P430).

The DBR bears witness of the excellent synergistic teamwork of the contractor Leonardo Company, under Italian Navy requirements, through OCCAR as Contracting Authority. It is a 3D high-performance multifunctional surveillance sensor with missile-guidance capability (DBR-C version), that will position PPA vessels and the Italian Navy at the forefront of the European defense panorama.

Editor’s Note:

Paolo Thaon di Revel (P430) was launched in June 2019 by its builder Fincantieri at its shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia). The vessel sailed for the first time in the blue waters of the Gulf of La Spezia on Nov. 12, 2019.

Paolo Thaon di Revel is the First of Class (FOC) PPA (Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura, Offshore Multipurpose Patrol Ship) in Light configuration. During the FSG, several platform systems/equipment installed on-board have been set up and successfully tested.

The vessel 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 first four ships are currently in the production stage. The second one, also in Light configuration, will be named after the Venetian Doge “Francesco Morosini”, and will be launched in March 2020.

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