Cassiopea-class patrol vessel
Patrol ship Spica (P 403)
|Builders:||Fincantieri - Muggiano|
|Active:||Cassiopea (P 401)
Libra (P 402)
Spica (P 403)
Vega (P 404)
|General characteristics |
|Displacement:||1,110 long tons (1,130 t) standard
1,475 long tons (1,499 t) full load
|Length:||79.80 m (261 ft 10 in) oa
71.50 m (234 ft 7 in) pp
|Beam:||11.80 m (38 ft 9 in)|
|Draught:||3.60 m (11 ft 10 in)|
2 Grandi Motori Trieste BL-230.16 diesels
8,800 bhp (6,600 kW)
|Speed:||21 kn (39 km/h; 24 mph) maximum
20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph) continuous
|Range:||3,300 nmi (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph)|
|Crew:||6 officers, 54 enlisted|
|1 × SMA SPN-748(V)2 Navigation radar
1 × AESN SPS-702(v)2 surface search radar
1 × AESN SPG-70 fire control radar
|Aircraft carried:||1 AB.212 helicopter|
|Aviation facilities:||Hangar and flight deck|
Development and design
In the early 1980s the Italian navy developed two classes of corvettes to replace older vessels. The Minerva-class were fully combatant ships to serve as coastal escorts, and equipped with modern sensors and armament, while the Cassiopea class were simpler offshore patrol vessels intended to replace the old Albatros-class corvettes used for fisheries patrol.
Construction of four ships (out of an originally planned eight) was authorised in December 1982, with funding coming from the Ministry of Merchant Marine, while orders were placed in December 1986, with construction at Fincantieri shipyard, Muggiano to merchant ship standards, starting the next year, and the first ship entering service in 1989. A further two ships were cancelled unbuilt in 1991.
The ships' main gun armament is a single 76mm/L62 Allargato gun, with both gun and fire control systems coming from scrapped Bergamini-class frigates. The ships are fitted with a flight deck and collapsable hangar to accommodate a helicopter, with an Agusta-Bell AB.212 of the Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) normally carried. The ship also carries equipment for dealing with pollution.
|Cassiopea||P 401||16 March 1987||19 July 1988||21 October 1989|
|Libra||P 402||16 March 1987||27 July 1988||23 March 1991|
|Spica||P 403||5 September 1988||27 May 1989||23 March 1991|
|Vega||P 404||30 June 1989||24 February 1990||8 May 1992|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cassiopea (P 401).|
- Baker 1998, pp. 380–381.
- Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 197.
- Grove 1990, p. 95.
- Baker, A.D. The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World 1998–1999. Annapolis, Maryland, USA. ISBN 1-55750-111-4.
- Gardiner, Roger and Stephen Chumbley. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland, USA. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
- Grove, Eric J. NATO Major Warships - Europe. Tri-Service Pocketbook. London: Tri-Service Press, 1990. ISBN 1-85400-006-3.