The situation of the Italian armed forces: the combat units of the Navy

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)
02/05/19

Sir Walter Raleigh used to say in the 16th century that whoever commands the sea commands commerce, whoever commands commerce disposes of the riches of the world and consequently dominates the world itself.

Control of the Mediterranean is of fundamental importance for Italy's foreign policy. In order to be able to implement it adequately, the Country System needs a Navy capable of facing the new international scenarios, employing technologically advanced units.

The flagship of the Navy, the Cavour, since last December, it is moored in the port of Taranto to carry out structural works (the flight deck must be adapted to the use of the new STOVL F-35B aircraft), it will probably be unavailable for the entire 2019. Meanwhile, the HARRIER Flight Group has been transferred to the Garibaldi, in line with the 1984, although it has undergone two major modernization cycles (in 2003 and 2013).

Two weeks ago the eighth FREMM - on 10 total to be acquired - was delivered, theAntonio Marceglia (following photo), fourth unit in multi-role configuration (General Purpose), after Carlo Bergamini, Luigi Rizzo and the Federico Martinengo. These units are intended to perform roles ranging from anti-aircraft / anti-aircraft defense to anti-aircraft defense and to support amphibious operations with the possibility of delivering counter-force fire.

Of the four units, initially planned, of the Franco-Italian program HORIZON only two were acquired, the Caio Duilio and l 'Andrea Doria.

In the short term it will be necessary to replace the two destroyers Durand de la Penne e Mimbelli, now in service for more than 25 years.

The Navy has expressed the need for two anti-aircraft / anti-ballistic DDXs with a displacement of 10.000 tons. They could be equipped with the KRONOS DUAL BAND 3000 fixed-face radar (C-band and X-band), for close-range discovery, the tracking and the missile guidance and long-range radar discovery band L KRONOS POWER SHIELD with anti-ballistic abilities. The missile equipment should include SYLVER A50 vertical launchers for the ASTER 15 / 30 and ASTER 30 Block 1 NT, but also for the new missiles land-attack (SCALP NAVAL?).

However, given the meager Defense Reports, we find it difficult to find the funds needed to start the construction of similar naval units.

The real revolution in military affairs, in the naval field, will probably occur with the entry into service of the new PPAs (Multi-purpose Offshore Patrol Boats, with a full load displacement of 6.500 tons - image) class Thaon of Revel, which will replace the 4 frigates class Soldiers (the last two were laid up last year) and the 4 corvette class Minerva.

The program provides for the procurement of 16 units, of which 7 already commissioned and other 3 in option.

The solution chosen was to develop a family of ships, with the same platform and with most of the common combat systems. An intense and parallel development activity is also planned in the field of sensors and integration (bi-band radar, bi-band shot radar, integrated shaft, IFF, optronic sensors, command and control system). The new patrolmen will have a significant multi-mission modular capacity, with two areas available, one amidships (with the possibility of carrying two RHIBs from 11 m), and one aft (2 RHIB from 11 m).

In addition, a large two-seat hangar will also be present, allowing the boarding of two medium SH-90 helicopters, or an AW-101.

The first of two high-speed, multi-purpose units, class, entered service in April this year Angelo Cabrini (photo). Designed with innovative technological solutions and built using special materials that provide high radar shielding, which allow reduced infrared tracking and very low noise in navigation. The main feature is the great versatility, able to satisfy the multiple needs of the GOI raiders (they can be boarded up to 20 operators).

The armament would appear to consist of a SPIKE LR missile system, of two M-134D rotary machine guns from 7,62x51 and a HITROLE remote control turret, equipped with an 12,7x99 caliber machine gun. The missions, which will be called upon to carry out the new units, range from the control of maritime traffic, to anti-piracy, to the evacuation of personnel in crisis areas.

Photo: US Navy / Navy