On February 12, 2022, the technical launch of the fourth Multipurpose Offshore Patrol ship (PPA – Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura) «Giovanni delle Bande Nere» (P433) took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Riva Trigoso (Genoa).
This PPA, to be delivered in 2024, is the first in «full» version, which means equipped for a complete defence ability, and the first to be supplied with generator sets by Isotta Fraschini Motori, a Fincantieri subsidiary specialized in the production of diesel engines.
The vessel is part of the renewal plan of the operational lines of the Italian Navy vessels, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 («Naval Act») under the aegis of OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms).
Vessel’s characteristics: PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship
The multipurpose offshore patrol 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. For the seven vessels of the program there will be indeed different configurations of combat system: starting from a «soft» version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defence ability, to a «full» one, as described above. The patrol ship is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters/36 feet long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.
- 133 meters/436 feet long
- Speed more than 31 knots/35.7 mph/57.4 km/h according to vessel configuration and operational conditions
- 145 crew members and accommodation capacity up to 181 beds
- Combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion system, i.e. with electric motors for low speeds
- Capacity to supply drinking water to land
The PPAs will be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with deliveries expected until 2026.
Giovanni delle Bande Nere – Ludovico di Giovanni de’ Medici, also known as Giovanni delle Bande Nere (born April 6, 1498, Forli – died November 30, 1526 Mantua), was an Italian Renaissance «condottiero» (captain of mercenary forces). He belonged to a cadet branch of the Medici.
The light cruiser that during World War II was named after him was launched in 1930. During the conflict, equipped with seaplanes, Bande Nere participated in the Battle of Calabria. Later deployed to the Aegean Sea to attack enemy units, she took part in the battle off Cape Spada, fighting against an Australian cruiser and 5 British destroyers. Successful missions conducted by Bande Nere included the laying of Minefield T, a coastal mine barrier off Tripoli, which caused the sinking of an enemy cruiser and a destroyer, besides severely damaging other two cruisers. This was the most significant result ever achieved thanks to minelaying during WW II. During the Second Battle of Sirte, Bande Nere hit another British cruiser. In 1942, returning from one of her missions, she was fatally torpedoed off the island of Stromboli.
In 2019, during a technical verification and surveillance of the seabed in the Tyrrhenian Sea near Stromboli, the Italian Navy’s minesweeper Vieste found the wreck of the Light Cruiser sunk 77 years before with her brave crew.