Sparviero-class patrol boat

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Sparviero DN-ST-84-03940.jpg
Italian Sparviero class hydrofoil-missile NIBBIO P-421 underway
Class overview
Builders: Fincantieri, Sumitomo
  • 1973-83 (Italy)
  • 1991-1995 (Japan)
In commission: 1974-2002? (Italy), 1993-2010 (Japan)
Active: 0
Retired: 11
General characteristics Sparveiero Class[1]
Type: Fast attack hydrofoil
Displacement: 60.6 tons full load

22.95 m (75 ft 4 in)

24.56 m (80 ft 7 in) (hydrofoils retracted)
Beam: 7.01 m (23 ft 0 in)

1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)

1.45 m (4 ft 9 in) (on foils at speed)

CODAG 1 × Rolls-Royce Proteus 15 M560 gas turbine driving waterjet, 3,761 kW (5,044 shp)

1 × Isotta-Fraschini ID38N6V diesel, 1 propellor, 220 kW (290 bhp)
Speed: 93 km/h (50 kn)

740 km (400 nmi) at 45 kn (83 km/h)

1,940 km (1,050 nmi) at 8 knots (15 km/h)
Complement: 8 enlisted plus 2 officers
Sensors and
processing systems:

SMA SPQ 701 navigation radar

AESN SPG-70 fire control radar

The Sparviero-class are small hydrofoil missile boats capable of traveling at speeds of 46 knots. They were designed for and formerly used by the Italian Navy. The Japanese 1-go class missile boat is an updated version formerly used by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).



The Sparviero class fast attack hydrofoil was designed in Italy by the Alinavi society, a consortium of the American company Boeing, the Italian government's naval research branch, and Carlo Rodriguez, a Messina-based builder of commercial hydrofoils, based on Boeing's Tucumcari for the US Navy.[2][3] A prototype, named Sparviero was ordered in 1970 for the Italian Navy,[4] Sparviero was laid down by Alinavi in La Spezia in April 1971, was launched on 9 May 1973 and finally commissioned into Italian navy service on 15 July 1974.[5][6]

The design used the Boeing Jetfoil system, with one hydrofoil forward and two aft, which folded out of the water when cruising. The ship was propelled at high speeds by a Rolls-Royce Proteus gas turbine driving a water jet, while a diesel engine driving a retractable propeller powered the ship at low speeds. The hull and superstructure were constructed entirely of aluminium. As the design was intended for short-range, high speed operations, no sleeping accommodation was fitted. Armament consisted of two Otomat anti-ship missiles aft and a single Oto Melara 76 mm rapid-fire gun forward.[2][3]

It was planned in 1974–1975 to order four more Sparviero class hydrofoils, to be supplemented by at least two larger Pegasus class hydrofoils, but plans for a NATO-wide standardisation on the Pegasus class were abandoned. When orders were finally placed in 1977, they were for six more Sparvieros (giving seven in total) and no Pegasus class boats.[3][7] The new ships, built by Fincantieri at Muggiano, entered service from 1982 to 1984, and differed from the prototype in having a more advanced installation for the Otomat missiles (using the Teseo control system) and having water injection fitted to the gas turbines.[2][5][6]

The class proved to be underpowered, and it was hoped to re-engine them with more powerful (4,768 kW (6,394 bhp)) Alison gas turbines, but these plans were later abandoned.[3][6] All of the Italian ships have now been decommissioned.


The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) selected a modified version of the Sparviero class as a replacement for its PT 11 class torpedo boats. A license agreement was signed in 1991 to build up to 12 Sparvieros, with the first two approved in FY90 and both were laid down by Sumitomo in Uraga on 25 March 1991. An order for a third boat was delayed to help pay for Japan's contribution to the Gulf War, with it not being laid down until 1993. A request for a fourth boat under the FY 95 budget was rejected, and plans for further hydrofoils abandoned.[3][8]

The Japanese chose different armament than used in the Italian boats, with up to four Type 90 Ship-to-Ship Missiles replacing the Otomats and a non-stabilised 20 mm M61 Vulcan rotary cannon replacing the larger Oto Melara gun. The main powerplant is a 3,900 kW (5,200 shp) General Electric LM500 gas turbine.[8]

Military use[edit]

Italian ships have all been decommissioned. The Sparviero class was used by the Japanese coastal patrol forces as a fast attack interceptor.

Ships in class[edit]


(All decommissioned)

Number Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Notes
Sparviero P 420 April 1971[6] 9 May 1973[6] 15 July 1974[6] 30 September 1991[1]
Nibbio P 421 1 August 1977[6] 29 February 1980[6] 7 March 1980[6] 10 October 1996[1]
Falcone P 422 1 October 1977[1] 27 October 1980[1] 7 March 1982 [1]
Astore P 423 1 July 1978[1] 20 July 1981[1] 5 February 1983[1]
Grifone P 424 15 November 1978[1] 1 December 1981[1] 5 February 1983[1]
Gheppio P 425 16 May 1979[1] 24 June 1982[1] 20 September 1983[1]
Condor P 426 21 March 1980[1] 25 January 1983[1] 7 April 1984[1]

(All currently decommissioned, but may be reactivated in near future [2014])

Number Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Notes
PG 01 821 25 March 1991[8] 17 July 1992[8] 22 March 1993[8] 6 June 2008[citation needed]
PG 02 822 25 March 1991[8] 17 July 1992[8] 22 March 1993[8] 6 June 2008[citation needed]
PG 03 823 8 March 1993[8] 15 June 1994[8] 13 March 1995[8] 24 June 2010[citation needed]

Image gallery for PG 1-go class (

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Baker 1998, pp. 381–382.
  2. ^ a b c Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 217.
  3. ^ a b c d e Baker 1998, p. 382.
  4. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 196.
  5. ^ a b Moore 1985, p. 275.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Prézelin and Baker 1990, p. 280.
  7. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 197.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Baker 1998, pp. 427–428.
  • Baker, A.D. The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World 1998–1999. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1998. ISBN 1-55750-111-4.
  • Gardiner, Robert and Stephen Chumbley. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland USA: Naval Institute Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  • Moore, John. Jane's Fighting Ships 1985–86. London: Jane's Yearbooks, 1985. ISBN 0-7106-0814-4.
  • Prézelin, Bernard and Baker, A.D. The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World 1990/1991. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1990. ISBN 0-87021-250-8.
  • Saunders, Stephen (RN) Jane's Fighting Ships 2003-2004 ISBN 0-7106-2546-4