Sunday, February 25, 2024

Marina militare: two high-speed multifunctional naval units for special missions

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The Marina militare (Military Navy) of the Italian Republic launched, at the latest, in 2015 the Unità Navale Polifunzionale ad Alta Velocità ( UNPAV ) or K-180 . The first unit – Angelo Cabrini (2019) – entered service on July 7, 2019. The second and final unit, the Tullio Tedeschi , launched on May 11, 2019, should join the Italian fleet in January 2020. This program provides a capacity of infiltration of agents, commandos and divers by surface vessels with an intrinsic capacity for regional projection and, perhaps, extra-regional deployment thanks to a hypothetical containment.

The Unità Navale Polifunzionale ad Alta Velocità (UNPAV) program was carried out under the direction of the Military Marina, within the framework of the 2015 naval law, for the benefit of the COM ando Raggruppamento SUB acquei e IN cursori Teseo Tesei (COMSUBIN) of which the main The unit concerned is the G ruppo O perativi I ncursori (GOI), with approximately 150 to 200 men. Only special forces unit of the Italian Navy. And COMSUBIN also includes the G ruppo O perativo S ubacquei ( GOS ) bringing together around 200 clearance divers from the Military Marina and those carrying out rescue operations, in particular through a DSRV ( Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle ).

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The Angelo Cabrini (2019) and Tullio Tedeschi (2020) are named in honor, respectively, of Admiral Angelo Cabrini (February 14, 1917 – December 1, 1987) who served 37 years in the Navy. On March 26, 1941, he successfully led the mission of the Xª Flottiglia MAS against the cruiser York. And Tullio Tedeschi (July 15, 1910 – November 2, 1987) also served in the Xª Flottiglia MAS. He was part of the brilliant action of March 26, 1941.

These two units are intended to join the G ruppo N avale S peciale (GNS) of COMSUBIN. He is responsible for the Anteo (1980), an underwater rescue vessel which will be replaced in 2022 by the vessel resulting from the Soccorso Sommergibili polivalente (125 million euros). The unit also operates the Marino class diving support vessels ( Mario Marino (1985) and Alcide Pedretti (1985). They displace up to 97 tonnes fully loaded for a hull 25.8 meters long, a main beam (largest width) of 6.9 meters and a draft of only 1.2 meters. Capable of traveling at up to 28 knots, they have a range of 240 nautical miles and are armed by a crew from March 9. They support dives up to 80 meters. The Alcide Pedretti even has a hyperbaric chamber for six people.

The Marino class ( Mario Marino (1985) and Alcide Pedretti (1985) should logically be replaced by the Angelo Cabrini (2019) and Tullio Tedeschi Unità Navale Polifunzionale ad Alta Velocità ( UNPAV program . The development and maintenance contract construction is assigned to Intermarine (1970).

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Soccorso Sommergibili polivalente Defense News | Military Naval Construction | Defense Contracts and Calls for Tenders
The Soccorso Sommergibili polivalente program will make it possible to replace the Anteo (1980) and therefore maintain the operational capacity allowing the rescue of submarines up to 600 meters deep thanks to the divers and autonomous divers (ADS) of the Gruppo Operativo Subacquei (GOS).

The Italian shipyard has made itself known in particular on the minehunter market with the supply of such buildings to the American navies ( Osprey (12), Australian ( Huon (6), Finnish ( Katanpää (3), Italian ( Lerici ( 2) and Gaeta (8), Malaysian ( Mahamiru (4), Nigerian ( Ouhè (2), Thai ( Lat-Ya (2) and Finnish ( Katanpää (3). They also offer many boats and fast vessels (13, 16, 22, 25, 26, 38, 44 and a catamaran) most of which equip several Italian administrations. And hydrographic vessels through the Ninfe (2) which equips the Marina militare.

The program schedule began with the signing of the contract on June 16, 2016 for an amount of 40 million euros. The first work began on September 28, 2016. The start of construction of the Angelo Cabrini (2019) was even celebrated in October, during the EuroNaval 2016 . Manufacturing continues until the launch of the building on May 26, 2018 in Messina. The Angelo Cabrini was delivered on July 7, 2019 to the Marina Militaire during a ceremony held in La Spezia. The Tullio Tedeschi was launched on May 11, 2019. Its construction continues until its delivery in January 2020. The site may appear behind schedule compared to the program's initial objective of admitting the two buildings to active service in 2019.

During the launching of the Angelo Cabrini (July 7, 2019), the Chief of Staff of the Military Marina, Admiral Valter Girardelli emphasized that the Italian Navy “must guarantee the defense of its territory at sea, real open border difficult to manage, with the adoption of a vision favoring the increasingly continuous and synergistic management of the areas of advanced defense and internal security . The two vessels will therefore participate in maritime traffic control missions, the fight against human trafficking, piracy and terrorism, as well as the exfiltration of people in crisis zones.

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The Unità Navale Polifunzionale ad Alta Velocità ( UNPAV ) are vessels 44.16 meters long with a beam of 9.2 meters (hull finesse of only 4.8). The fully loaded displacement is 190 tonnes and the light or normal displacement could be of the order of 150 tonnes if we had to refer to the first characteristics of the program.

The hull has some particularities including being made of fiberglass and carbon materials. The shapes of the hull have been studied in order to reduce the radar equivalent surface of the building without the result reaching the efforts deployed in other navies. Particular care was also given to the thermal signature of the building. Some parts of the hull have been reinforced (STANAG 4569 Level II). Discretion, a guarantee of survivability, is therefore taken care of but not to the detriment of nautical qualities and operational characteristics.

Alcide Pedretti Defense News | Military Naval Construction | Defense Contracts and Calls for Tenders
The G ruppo O perativi I ncursori (GOI), with approximately 150 to 200 men, can rely on the diving support vessels Mario Marino (1985) and Alcide Pedretti (1985) for its projections on the high seas. The program Unit Naval Polifunzionale ad Alta Velocità ( UNPAV ) allows the delivery of two buildings with significantly improved characteristics.

Navigation is ensured within a gangway with panoramic view (360°) thanks to a slight elevation compared to the rest of the superstructure. The sensitive points of the bridge are ballistically reinforced. The combat system is the SADOC Mk 4 (Leonardo-Finmeccanica) which provides command, control and communications functions. The Mk 3 version of this system equips the Italian frigates of the Horizon and FREMM . As space on board is expensive, a high degree of automation of the platform's driving functions was sought. In addition to a navigation radar ( GEM Elettronica MM/SPN-760 Janus-N Infra-red search and track ) type passive monitoring system (Leonardo-Finmeccanica). An antenna for satellite telecommunications is integrated.

Their autonomy would be 1500 nautical miles at 15 knots. They can travel up to more than 35 knots according to the manufacturer, an unofficial speed of more than 50 knots is mentioned. The initial objective of the program was a speed of 40 knots. Propulsion is provided by three MTU 16V200 M94 2,000 kW diesel engines of 2700 HP each supplied by Rolls-Royce Marine to which are added two diesel generators of 160 HP each. Propulsive power is transmitted to three Rolls-Royce Kamewa S4 waterjets.

The accommodations are able to support up to 27 personnel including the crew of 9 sailors. Food autonomy is 10 days with 9 sailors, 3 days with 27 personnel.

The armament consists of a main artillery piece: a remotely operated Hitfist-N 12.7 mm cannon manufactured by OTO-Melara . Spike-LR anti-tank missile launcher (4,000 meters range) completes the heavy equipment. Two Dillon Aero M134D can reinforce these assets. In addition, four 7.62 mm machine guns can be installed on ports on each sector of the building from the superstructures, plus two others to be installed on the rear deck. Six more 7.62mm machine guns can be installed. And even a 40mm grenade launcher can be placed above the catwalk to beat a sector covering the axis of the building. Nearly a ton of ammunition can be carried on board to serve all these armaments and weapons.

Zodiac Hurricane 733 semi-rigid boat (up to 11 places, 30 knots +), or a hyperbaric chamber. The semi-rigid can be launched and recovered using an automatic handling system along a rear ramp.

The autonomy (1500 nautical miles at 15 knots) of the UNPAV is consistent with specific actions carried out all around the Italian coasts as far as Sicily. But this requires pre-positioning the building(s) as close as possible to the theater. And this will not dispense with support as close as possible to the action in the event of prolonged missions in order to be able to resupply with food and fuel. Any extra-regional projection will raise the question of the ability of these buildings to be able to be radiated or transported discreetly to the deployment zone.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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