Lupo-class frigate

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US Navy 100326-N-4774B-247 The Peru navy frigate BAP Carvajal (FM 51) is participating in Southern Seas 2010, a U.S. Southern Command-directed operation that provides U.S. and international forces the opportunity to operate in.jpg
Peruvian Navy frigate BAP Carvajal participating in Southern Seas 2010
Class overview
Name: Lupo class
Preceded by: Alpino class
Succeeded by: Maestrale class
  • Carvajal class
  • Mariscal Sucre class
  • Artigliere (Soldati) class
In commission: 1977
Planned: 18
Completed: 18
Active: 14
Laid up: 1
Preserved: 3
General characteristics
Type: guided missile frigate
Displacement: 2.506 t (2.466 long tons) full load
Length: 113.2 m (371 ft) LOA
Beam: 11.3 m (37 ft)
Draft: 3.7 m (12 ft)
  • 35 kn (65 km/h) with gas turbines
  • 21 kn (39 km/h) with diesels
Range: 4,300 nmi (8,000 km) at 16 kn (30 km/h)
Complement: 185 (20 officers)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • - Selenia SADOC 2 combat management system
  • - 1 x Selenia SPS-774 (RAN-10S) early warning radar
  • - 1 x Selenia SPQ-2F CORA OTH surface search radar
  • - 1 x Selenia SPS-702 (or RAN-11L/X) air/surface search radar
  • - 1 x Selenia SPG-70 (RTN-10X) fire control radar
  • - 1 x Raytheon Mk 95 fire control radar
  • - 2 x Selenia SPG-74 (RTN-20X) fire control radar
  • - 1 x GEM Elettronica AN/SPN-748 navigation radar
  • - Raytheon DE 1160B (SQS-56) hull sonar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1 AB-212ASW helicopter
Aviation facilities:
  • Flight deck: 25.2 m × 11.3 m (83 ft × 37 ft)
  • Telescopic hangar for 1 medium helicopter.

The Lupo class is a class of frigates built by Cantieri Navali Riuniti (CNR) for the Italian Navy. Designed as multipurpose warships with emphasis on anti-surface warfare (ASuW), they have enjoyed some success in the export market, being acquired by the navies of Peru and Venezuela. A small run of a slightly updated version is known as the Soldati class.


In the early 1970s, the Italian Navy faced an increased Soviet naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea which constituted a threat to its sea lines of communication as well as to its extensive coastline. To parry this menace, Italy started a naval expansion program which included frigates focused on ASuW (Lupo class) and on ASW (Maestrale class).

For the first part of the requirement, CNR presented a design for a 2,500-ton frigate with a high speed and a heavy weapons load. The ship employed a CODOG propulsion plant to achieve 35 knots, making it one of the fastest warships at the time. Armament included 8 SSMs, 8 SAMs, several gun systems, 2 triple torpedo tubes and an ASW helicopter, which was equivalent to that carried by larger warships. Lupo-class frigates have a crew of around 200.

Italian Navy[edit]

The Italian Navy commissioned four Lupo-class frigates between 1977 and 1980. These ships were deployed to the Persian Gulf first as escorts for tankers during the last stages of the Iran–Iraq War (1987–1988) and then as part of the Coalition forces during the 1990–1991 Gulf War. After this operations the whole class underwent modernization which included fitting an SPS-702 CORA surface search radar and SATCOM equipment. After two decades in service, the four Italian Lupo-class frigates were decommissioned and sold to Peru in the early 2000s.

In 1996 four new Lupo-class frigates which had been built for Iraq in 1985-87, were incorporated into the Italian Navy as the Artigliere class. These ships feature a telescopic hangar; they were refitted as patrol ships and changes made for Italian service included the removal of all ASW equipment. The four ships are Artigliere ("artilleryman" - pennant F 582), Aviere ("airman" - F 583), Bersagliere ("sharpshooter" - F 584) and Granatiere ("grenadier" - F 585), and are used in fleet escort or long range patrolling duties.


 Marina Militare Lupo class
Ship Builder Hull
Laid down Launched Commissioned Motto Fate
F 564 Lupo Cantieri Navali Riuniti, Riva Trigoso 300 11 October 1974 29 July 1976 12 September 1977 Fulmineo sulla preda Transferred to Peru, renamed Palacios
F 565 Sagittario 301 4 February 1976 22 June 1977 18 November 1978 Non cohibetur sagitta Transferred to Peru, renamed Quiñones
F 566 Perseo 302 28 February 1977 12 July 1978 1 March 1980 Vincerà chi vorrà vincere Transferred to Peru, renamed Coronel Bolognesi
F 567 Orsa Cantieri Navali Riuniti, Muggiano 303 1 August 1977 1 March 1979 1 March 1980 Fortitude Fortior Transferred to Peru, renamed Aguirre
A starboard view of the Italian Lupo-class frigate Sagittario underway during exercise Distant Drum in 1983
BAP Villavicencio underway off Dungeness Spit, Washington, June 2015

Soldati-class patrol frigate[edit]

Iraq ordered four Lupo-class frigates from CNR in 1980 as part of a naval expansion program just before the Iran–Iraq War.[1] These ships, which feature a telescopic hangar were completed between 1985 and 1987. Due to restrictions on arm sales to Iraq because of the Iran-Iraq War placed by the Italian prime minister Bettino Craxi, the ships remained interned in Italy until the end of that war in 1988. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein then tried to renegotiate the price of these ships (and the other ships purchased from Italy), claiming he should receive a discount due the delay in delivery of the ships.[1] Negotiations and court proceedings were still ongoing when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 and a new arms embargo against Iraq was placed by the United Nations, again blocking the sale.[1] In 1993 all of them were seized and, after being refitted as patrol ships, incorporated to the Italian Navy as the Soldati class in 1996. Changes made for Italian service included the removal of all ASW equipment. The four ships are Artigliere (pennant F 582), Aviere (F 583), Bersagliere (F 584) and Granatiere (F 585), and are used in fleet escort or long range patrolling duties. The Philippines considered acquiring the Soldati class in 2012.[2]

 Marina Militare Soldati class
Ship Builder Hull
Laid down Launched Commissioned Motto Fate
F 582 Artigliere (ex-Hittin) Fincantieri, Ancona 903 31 March 1982 27 July 1983 28 October 1994 Primi Velitum Decommissioned 13 December 2013
F 583 Aviere (ex-Thi Qar) 904 3 September 1982 19 December 1984 4 January 1995 Virtute Siderum Tenus Decommissioned 16 July 2018
F 584 Bersagliere (ex-Al Yarmouk) Fincantieri, Riva Trigoso 905 12 March 1984 18 April 1985 8 November 1995 Pro Patria Decommissioned 17 April 2018[3]
F 585 Granatiere (ex-Al Qadisiya) Fincantieri, Ancona 906 1 December 1983 1 June 1985 20 March 1996 A me le guardie Decommissioned 30 September 2015

Peruvian Navy[edit]

Peruvian frigate BAP Carvajal maneuvers through the Caribbean Sea during UNITAS 46-05

Peru became involved early in the Lupo-class frigate program, ordering four ships in 1973. The Peruvian ships were built to a modified design which included different radars, Aspide instead of Sea Sparrow SAMs and a fixed instead of a telescopic hangar. The first two were built by CNR at its shipyard in Riva Trigoso, Genoa, and commissioned in 1979.

Construction work for the second pair was carried out under license by SIMA (Servicio Industrial de la Marina, Navy Industrial Service) at Callao, with the ships commissioning in 1984 and 1987. Of the Peruvian Lupos, BAP Carvajal (FM-51), BAP Mariátegui (FM-54), BAP Villavicencio (FM-52) and BAP Montero (now BAP Almirante Grau) (FM-53) had their flight decks extended to allow ASH-3D Sea King helicopters to land and refuel, even though they cannot be housed in the ship's hangar.

In November 2004 other ex-Italian Lupo-class vessels were incorporated into the Peruvian Navy: BAP Aguirre (FM-55) (ex-Orsa) and BAP Palacios (FM-56) (ex-Lupo). Finally in August 2006 the last Italian Lupo ships arrived in Callao: BAP Quiñones (FM-58) and BAP Bolognesi (FM-57). In 2013, Carvajal was transferred to the Peruvian Coast Guard and renamed Guardiamarina San Martin.[4]


Peruvian Carvajal-class frigates, Montero and Mariátegui.
Carvajal class
Pennant number Ship Builder Hull
Laid down Launched Commissioned Fate
FM-51 Carvajal Cantieri Navali Riuniti, Riva Trigoso 304 8 August 1974 17 November 1976 5 February 1979 Transferred to Peruvian Coast Guard in 2013, renamed Guardiamarina San Martin
FM-52 Villavicencio 305 6 October 1976 7 February 1978 25 June 1979 Active in service
FM-53 Montero (later Almirante Grau) SIMA, Callao October 1978 8 October 1982 25 July 1984 Active in service. Renamed 2017
FM-54 Mariátegui 1979 8 October 1984 10 October 1987 Active in service
ex-Italian Lupo class
FM-55 Aguirre Cantieri Navali Riuniti, Muggiano 303 1 August 1977 1 March 1979 ex-Orsa
FM-56 Palacios Cantieri Navali Riuniti, Riva Trigoso 300 11 October 1974 29 July 1976 ex-Lupo
FM-57 Bolognesi 302 28 February 1977 12 July 1978 ex-Perseo
FM-58 Quiñones 301 4 February 1976 22 June 1977 ex-Sagittario

Venezuelan Navy[edit]

A starboard bow view of ARV General Salom prior to its upgrade
ARV General Soublette (F-24) and ARV General Salóm (F-25) docked alongside in port

Venezuela ordered six Lupo-class frigates from CNR in 1975 as a replacement for older warships. These units were commissioned between 1980 and 1982. In general terms, their appearance and equipment is similar to those built for Peru, except for some differences in electronics and missiles. The first two ships, ARV Mariscal Sucre (F-21) and ARV Almirante Brión (F-22) were upgraded by Ingalls Shipbuilding over a four years period (1998–2002). Modifications of this two ships included:

  • Fitting of Elbit NTCS 2000 combat management system
  • Fitting of Elta EL/M-2238 Single Face STAR 3D air/surface radar
  • Fitting of Northrop Grumman 21 HS-7 hull sonar
  • Fitting of Elisra NS-9003 ESM system
  • Fitting of Elisra NS-9005 ECM system
  • Replacement of 2 GMT A230-20M diesel engines with 2 MTU 20V 1163.

The other ships in Venezuelan service were expected to undergo an austere version of this upgrade, but three ships were eventually taken out of service.


Mariscal Sucre class
Ship Builder Hull
Laid down Launched Commissioned Fate
F-21 Mariscal Sucre Cantieri Navali Riuniti, Riva Trigoso 851 19 November 1976 28 September 1978 10 May 1980 Active
F-22 Almirante Brión 853 June 1977 22 February 1979 7 March 1981 Active
F-23 General Urdaneta 852 23 January 1978 23 March 1979 8 August 1981 Out of service
F-24 General Soublette 855 26 August 1978 4 January 1980 5 December 1981 Active
F-25 General Salom 854 7 November 1978 13 January 1980 3 April 1982 Out of service
F-26 Almirante Garcia (ex-José Felix Ribas) 856 21 August 1979 4 October 1980 30 July 1982 Out of service

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Independent. London Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "DND signs 5-year agreement with Italy". Philippine Star. 2012-02-08. Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  3. ^ Italian Navy retires Bersagliere frigate, Jane's 360, 17 April 2018, retrieved 17 April 2018
  4. ^ "Marina de Guerra del Perú realizará ceremonia de Zarpe de Expedición Científica a la Antártida – ANTAR XXII, Colocación de la Quilla del Remolcador Auxiliar de Salvamento y Patrullera Marítima, Transferencia del BAP Carvajal a DICAPI" (in Spanish). Peruvian Navy. 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2015.


  • Faulkner, Keith, Jane's Warship Recognition Guide. 2nd edition. Jane's Information Group, 1999.
  • (in Spanish) Rodríguez, John, "Las fragatas Lupo: una breve mirada retrospectiva y perspectivas". Revista de Marina, Year 95, No. 3: 8–32 (July / December 2002).

External links[edit]