The Italian Navy’s new multipurpose offshore patrol ship (PPA), Raimondo Montecuccoli (PPA3), has conducted its maiden sea trials in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

During the trials, PPA3’s propulsion and navigation performance was tested. It was carried out under the supervision of Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement (OCCAR) PPA Programme Division.

The PPA3 is scheduled to be delivered to the Italian Navy in January 2023. It was launched on 13 March this year at Fincantieri Shipyard in Riva Trigoso – Genova.

The Italian Navy’s PPA programme comprises the development and production of seven ships in three different configurations with incremental capabilities of ‘LIGHT’, ‘LIGHT PLUS’, and ‘FULL’.

All seven PPA ships are being built as part of the Italian fleet renewal programme. The programme was integrated into OCCAR in 2015.

The ‘LIGHT’ PPA configuration will possess a complete set of artillery while the ‘LIGHT PLUS’ configuration will add missile firing capability with actuators intended also for ballistic missile defence.

Meanwhile, the ‘FULL’ configuration PPA will be equipped to cope with three-dimensional threats, such as air, surface and underwater.

In addition, each system on the ‘FULL’ configuration can be rapidly installed on ‘LIGHT’ and ‘LIGHT PLUS’, offering operational flexibility.

Raimondo Montecuccoli is the third ship of the PPA programme and the first PPA in the LIGHT PLUS configuration.

The main characteristics of the PPAs include high speed, long endurance, resilience, manoeuvrability, modularity, and seaworthiness.

Furthermore, the new generation biofuel and electrical propulsion system helps to reduce emissions.