Maestrale is an enlarged Lupo Class frigate. It is marginally slower, but it has better ASW capability. The frigates of the Maestrale class, also known as the Venti [winds] class, trace their general appearance to the Lupo class built both for the Italian Navy as well as for some foreign Navies. Relative to the Lupo class the Maestrale has a greater displacement of approximately 500 tons and a more sophisticated and powerful antisubmarine armament -- two A184 torpedo launchers, 2 homing device and a sonar towed to variable depth for the search of e underwater targets].
The 'Lupo' class are primarily escorts and are not really suitable for the fleet ASW role. The eight frigates of the 'Maestrale' class began to enter service in the 1980s to take up the ASW role. The Maestrale' design is essentially that of a stretched 'Lupo', with fewer anti ship weapons and more emphasis on ASW capability. The increase in length and beam has resulted in a vessel with better ASW seaworthiness and habitability, and the extra room allows a second helicopter to be carried along with a variable depth sonar system. The machinery arrangement is similar to that of the 'Lopes', but the extra tonnage knocks three knots off the speed. Even so the 'Maestrales' are still faster than most other frigates.
The 8 units of the class derive from the Lupo class though they have different installed armament because of the diversity of the tasks assigned. The Maestrale frigate class have the main role of Anti Submersible warfare (ASW), but they retain a high degree of flexibility for Anti Aerial defense (AAW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW). The width of the hull allows an ample flight deck (27x12 mt.), while the dimensions of the hangar allow the sheltering of 2 helicopters.
The ships have a length overall of 122.7 meters, a maximum beam of 12.9 meters and a draft of 4.6 meters. The coefficient of fineness is approximately 0.8 while the metacentric height (with ship unloaded and dry) is approximately 0.95. The construction has been achieved with modules of preprepared sections, a technology which at this point is standard in this field. The compartmentalization of the hull is constituted from 15 compartments, and the buoyancy is assured also with 3 flooded contiguous compartments. The platform is stabilized non-retractable fins in order to reduce the rolling from 30 degrees to the 3 degrees at a speed of 18 knots.
The propulsion apparatus is of the CODOG type on two shafts with propellers of 5 variable pitch blades from 4 meters diameter. Two gas turbines Fiat-General Electric LM-2500 from 25,000 HP can be used, or 2 motors GMT 230-20 DVM. The maximum speed is of approximately 32 knots. Two power plants control 4 generating groups from 780 KW set in action from diesel GMT 230.6 M from 1,200 HP and two 60/400 converters Hz. for the users of Sistema di Combattimento. The propulsive apparatus is arranged in 4 compartments. The control of the drive system is carried out from an electronic system type SEPA-7206 which operates the remote control of all the functions (auxiliary ignition, extinction, monitoring, apparatuses, variations of power, etc.). As far as the generation - distribution of the electric power, the SACIE electronic system carries out the functions of control and monitoring through the Platform Operating Headquarters. The control is assured from two rudders of the semicompensated type to electrohydraulic commando with an angle of bar of 35 degrees for side.
The Sistema di Combattimento (S.Co.) is based on Sistema Comando and Controllo of the IPN-20, entirely realized from the Italian industry, to which the peripheral ones of Sistema, between which sensors, weapon systems, arranges of visualization and control, computers of headquarters of shooting make head all main, modem for the exchange given with other allied Units, sottositema of electronic warfare, etc.
The underwater search is assured by a Raytheon DE-1164 sonar constituted of an emitter and two transducers, one on the hull and one of type VDS (variable depht sonar), able to put into effect the passive discovery - active, classification of the targets and control of torpedo (through one Central AS).
The weapon systems are constituted from the from 533 milimeter torpedo type A-184 and the Mk-44 and Mk-46 light torpedo from triple tubes or the boarded helicopters (type AB-212 with role ASW or EW). The aerial surveillance is assured by the MM-SPS 774 radar that detects targets at a medium distance. The role of surface search instead is covered by the MM-SPS 702 through a remote control antenna. The surface TESEO also engages the surface missile system- to 4 subsonic missiles. There is a further sensor for navigation -- the MM-SPN 703. Other sensors are directly connecected to fire control center that controls several the anti aerial and anti surface weapon systems. The Argon 30 is equipped with 2 lines of sight: one electromagnetic with radar type MM-SPG 75, and one optotronic equipped with IR sensors and telemeter LASER. To this system 127/54C are connected the OTO artillery system and Albatros missile with 8 cells. The Second Sistemi di Tiro Dart, is all equipping of a line of electromagnetic sight with radar of type MM-SPG 74 to which the related twin system Breda 40/70 is connected. The calculating system ESA-24 controls 2 rockets launcher SCLAR from 20 canes, for the anti-missile passive defense and firing illuminantion. The systems of defense of the Unit are completed from 2 machine-gunner from 20 milimeter Oerlikon type and 2 machine-guns Been born Mg.42 cal. 7.62
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