Impavido-class destroyer

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Class overview
Name: Impavido class
Operators:  Marina Militare
Preceded by: Impetuoso class
Succeeded by: Audace class
In commission: 21 November 1963 - 15 July 1992
Completed: 2
Retired: 2
General characteristics Data from [1]
Type: Destroyer
  • 3,201 ton standard
  • 3,941 tons full load
Length: 130.9 m (429 ft 6 in)
Beam: 13.6 m (44 ft 7 in)
Draught: 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)
  • 2 shaft geared turbines
  • 4 Foster Wheeler boilers, 70,000 hp (52,000 kW)
Speed: 34 kn (63 km/h; 39 mph)
Range: 3,300 nmi (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 344 (15 officers, 319 enlisted)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Aircraft carried: 1 helicopter

The Impavido class were the second group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy (MMI) after World War II and the first Italian guided missile destroyers. Similar in performance to the US Navy's Charles F. Adams-class, these ships were essentially improved Impetuoso class vessels, with the after gun-turret being replaced by a Tartar surface-to-air-missile launcher and associated radar.

Two ships were constructed in the 1960s in Italy, Impavido and Intrepido. They were in active service until the ships were retired in 1991 and 1992 respectively.


The Impavido class were the first guided missile destroyers of the Marina Militare. The Impavido -class vessels were commissioned in the early 1960s and were roughly equal to the Charles F. Adams-class destroyer. Both classes shared the Tartar missile system, with a Mk 13 launcher, and carried around 40 missiles. They had two fire control radars to guide their weaponry and all this was fitted in the aft of the ship. Both classes also had two single 127 mm (5 in) guns, but the American ships had these in single mountings and in a new model, the Mk 42, one fore and the other aft, while the Impavidos made use of an older Mk 38 dual turret.

Impavido, in May 1983

One difference between the classes was the secondary weaponry. While both had lightweight torpedo launchers, the rest was different. The Charles F. Adams class had an ASROC launcher, dedicated to anti-submarine warfare tasks, to help counter the growing number of Soviet submarines. The Impavidos did not have such systems, but instead had four model MM (Marina Militare) 76 mm (3 in) guns. In the Mediterranean Sea, where the ships were intended to operate, there was always the danger of air attacks as the main threat to ships. This usually led to the construction of many Italian warships with a heavier short-range air defence armament than normal.

In service the MM guns were not considered satisfactory, despite having decisive improvements over the older American 76mm guns. Reliability left a lot to be desired, while the lack of a totally automatic mode of fire proved a disadvantage.

A characteristic of these ships were the superstructures, having a much less clean layout than other classes. They had a double line of windows in the main turrion, similar to the Alpino-class frigates.

They became progressively obsolescent, not receiving any important updates in their service lives.


Name Pennant
Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Fate
Impavido D 570 CNR Riva Trigoso 10 June 1957 25 May 1962 16 November 1963 Decommissioned 1992[2]
Intrepido D 571 Ansaldo, Livorno 16 May 1959 21 October 1962 28 July 1964 Decommissioned 1991[2]


  1. ^ Blackman 1971, p. 184.
  2. ^ a b c d Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 207.


  • Blackman, Raymond V.B. Jane's Fighting Ships 1971–72. London: Sampson Low Marston & Co, 1971. ISBN 0-354-00096-9.
  • Gardiner, Robert and Stephen Chumbley (editors). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.

External links[edit]

Media related to Impavido class destroyer at Wikimedia Commons