The Navy (finally) has decided to retire the Santi Class

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

The three LPDs (Landing Platform Dock) entered service between the late 80s and mid-90s Saint Right, Saint Marco e Saint Giorgio they form the backbone of the amphibious projection capacity of our landing forces.

In about thirty years of service they have transported soldiers, vehicles and materials to almost all the operating theaters in which the Italian Armed Forces have been engaged, from the Ibis mission in Somalia, passing through the operations in Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo, up to the operations against Libya in 2011.

It is therefore time to replace them with more modern but above all larger units, in order to have higher loading possibilities. When they entered service, their displacement (about 8.000 tons each fully loaded) was sufficient for the needs of both the Navy and the Army (the San Marco was at the battalion level while the concept of landing force, apart from the specialty of the Lagunari, it was little assimilated by the Army).

The Navy has issued the specifications regarding a future acquisition (funds permitting) of at least two new LPDs with a displacement of 20.000 tons, with a discontinuous flight deck (such as the Trieste), capable of taking off medium-sized UAVs and floodable basins (self-defense systems should be limited to short range) to allow the landing craft to escape, such as the future SuperAv 8x8.

Photo: NATO