The Artigliere class light frigates, operational with the Italian Navy, were built by Fincantieri at their Ancona and Riva Trigosa shipyards. They were initially built for Iraq, but delivery was cancelled following the United Nations embargoes against Iraq in 1990. New weapons and communications systems were fitted to meet the requirements of the Italian Navy. Marina Militare (MM) Artigliere (F582), MM Aviere (F583) and MM Granitiere (F585) built at Ancona, were commissioned in 1994, 1995 and 1996. The third-of-class ship, MM Bersagliere (F584), commissioned in 1995, was built at the Riva Trigosa shipyards in Genoa.
The helicopter deck at the stern has a single landing spot for an Agusta Bell AB 212 helicopter.
Command and control
The ship’s combat data system is the Alenia Marconi Systems (now Selex Sistemi Integrati) IPN 10 mini SADOC for evaluation of the tactical situation, threat evaluation and prioritisation. The ship is equipped with a Link 11 and satellite communications and telecommunications system from Elmer. The fire control system consists of two Selex NA-21 fire directors for the missiles and the main gun and two Selex Dardo systems for the 40mm guns.
The ship’s surface to surface missile system is the Otomat by MBDA (formerly Alenia and Matra BAe Dynamics). The missile system has eight Otomat Teseo Mark 2 missile launchers. The missile uses mid-course guidance and active radar homing. With a range of over 170km, the missile is armed with a 210kg warhead. For air defence, the ship is fitted with the Albatros medium-range surface-to-air missile system from Alenia Elsag Sistemi Navali (AESN). This consists of one eight-cell launcher for the Aspide missile, which has a range of 15km and uses semi-active radar homing to deliver a 33kg fragmentation warhead.
The ship’s main gun installed on the bow deck is the Oto Melara 127mm gun which fires 32kg rounds at a rate of 45 rounds/minute. The range of the gun is more than 15km against surface targets and 7km against airborne targets. MM Bersagliere (F584) has been fitted with the Oto Melara 127mm/54 LW lightweight gun for operational evaluation. Two Oto Melara 40mm twin anti-aircraft guns fire 0.96kg shells at a rate of 300 rounds/minute to a range of 4km for airborne targets and to 12km for surface targets.
ILAS 3 triple torpedo launchers
The ship is equipped with two ILAS 3 triple torpedo launchers from Whitehead Alenia of Salvanio, Italy. The A244/S anti-submarine torpedoes use active, passive and mixed mode homing to a target range of 7km.
The ship’s electronic warfare suite includes a radar warning system and jammer supplied by Elettronica. The decoy system consists of two SCLAR 20 tube 105mm decoy launchers supplied by Oto Melara. The SCLAR launcher deploys chaff, infrared decoys or illuminating flares in confusion, distraction and seduction modes
The ship’s surface search radar is the Selex RAN 11 L/X and the navigation radar is the Selex SPN-703, both operating at I band. The Selex RAN 10 S air search radar operates at E and F bands and has a range of 150km. The ship has four fire control radars. Two I and J band Selex SPG-70 fire control radars are long-range (40km) systems for use with the NA 21 fire control system for the missiles and main gun. The Selex SPG-74 short-range (15km) fire control radar is used for the Dardo and the 40mm guns.
A Raytheon DE 1160B hull-mounted, medium-frequency, active search-and-attack sonar is also fitted
Fiat/GE LM 2500 gas turbine engines
The ships are equipped with a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion system. Two Fiat/GE LM 2500 gas turbine engines provide 50,000hp. Two GMT BL 230.20 M diesel engines provide 10,000hp. The engines drive two shafts with controlled pitch propellers. The turbines provide a maximum speed of 36 knots and the diesel engines provide a speed of 20 knots.