Alpino-class frigate

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F581 Carabiniere.jpg
MM Carabiniere (F-581)
Class overview
Name: Alpino class
Builders: Cantieri Navali Riuniti (CNR)
Operators:  Marina Militare
Preceded by: Bergamini class
Succeeded by: Lupo class
In service: 1963-68
In commission: 1968 -97
Completed: 2
Retired: 2
General characteristics [1]
Type: Frigate
Displacement: Standard: 2,000 long tons (2,032 t)
Full load: 2,700 long tons (2,743 t)
Length: 113.30 m (371 ft 9 in)
Beam: 13.10 m (43 ft 0 in)
Draught: 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft CODOG system

2 Tosi/Metrovick gas turbines 15,000 shp (11,000 kW)

4 Tosi diesel engines 16,800 shp (12,500 kW)
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h; 33 mph) with gas turbines
24 kn (44 km/h; 28 mph) with diesels only
Range: 3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph) (diesels)
Complement: 263
Sensors and
processing systems:
SPS-12 Search
SPQ-2 air/surface search/navigation
RTN-30X, RTN-10X fire control
SQS-43 hull sonar
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
SLQ-D ECM system
Armament: 6 × Oto Melara 76/62mm MMI
1 × Menon ASW mortar
2 × Mark 32 triple 324mm torpedo tubes
Aircraft carried: 2 × AB-204[2] or AB-212ASW[3] helicopters
Aviation facilities: Telescopic hangar for 2 medium helicopters.

The Alpino class were a group of two frigates built for the Italian Navy during the Cold War.


The design was originally conceived as an enlarged version of the Canopo-class frigates. The design was however changed radically with a CODOG machinery suite comprising gas turbines and diesels. These ships introduced the use of ship-based helicopters and variable depth sonar into the Italian Navy.

The ships underwent significant modernisation in the 1980s with the fitting of new sonar and electronic warfare equipment.


Initially four ships were planned to be ordered in 1959 to 1961. These ships were to be named Circe, Climene, Perseo and Polluce in honour of the Second World War-era Spica-class torpedo boats of those names. These ships were postponed while the designs were updated and two ships were ordered in 1962. Both vessels were built by CNR in Riva Trigoso and named after types of soldiers and specifically after two Second World War-era Soldati-class destroyers.

Ship Pennant Number[1] Laid down[1] Launched[1] Commissioned[1] Decommissioned
Alpino F580 27 February 1963 10 June 1967 14 January 1968 31 March 2006[4]
Carabiniere F581 9 January 1965 30 September 1967 28 April 1968 19 November 2008[5]

The ships were used as auxiliary vessels from the mid-1990s. Carabiniere was used as a trials ship for new missiles (PAAMS) and radar.


  1. ^ a b c d e Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 210.
  2. ^ Blackman 1971, p. 187.
  3. ^ Moore 1985, p. 273.
  4. ^ "Almanacco storico navale: Alpino (F 580 - A 5384)". Marina Militare. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Almanacco storico navale: Carabiniere (F 581)". Marina Militare. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  • Blackman, Raymond V.B. Jane's Fighting Ships 1971–72. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Ltd, 1971. ISBN 0-354-00096-9.
  • Gardiner, Roger and Stephen Chumbley. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland, USA, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  • Moore, John. Jane's Fighting Ships 1985–86. London: Jane's Yearbooks, 1985. ISBN 0-7106-0814-4.