IMDEX 2023: Italian PPA makes IMDEX debut
Francesco Morosini's showcase at the Singapore defence show follows its delivery to the Italian Navy in October last year.
Singapore is the first port call for the PPA as part of a broader regional deployment.
Italian Ambassador to Singapore and Brunei Mario Andrea Vattani said: 'Italy participates in IMDEX Asia with its new state-of-the-art ship operating in the Italian Navy: the "Francesco Morosini" Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessel.
'Singapore will be the first port call in Asia of the ship's five-month regional deployment, which marks Singapore's prominence as a strategic hub.'
Measuring 143m long, Francesco Morosini is a light variant of the PPA that takes a 'fitted for' approach and is geared for patrol tasks.
On 26 November 2022, during the launching ceremony of another PPA, Giovanni delle Bande Nere, it was announced that the two PPAs in light configuration, including Francesco Morosini, will be upgraded to the 'full' standard.
The 'full' version of the PPA offers a complete defence capability, and another variant, the 'light +', is geared towards combat support.
Francesco Morosini features a so-called 'naval cockpit', an integrated bridge system that allows most maritime operations to be conducted by just two operators.
|Thaon di Revel Class (PPA)
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|Depth 2 (draft)
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While in Singapore, the ship is being used to host events to promote Italian industrial capabilities and culture.
The OPVs are being built to replace the Italian Navy's ageing fleet of patrol boats, corvettes and frigates as part of their naval renewal plan.
The vessels have been designed for missions including patrolling, surface combat, anti-piracy, monitoring, protection and control of maritime zones, and rescue of personnel in distress.
The vessel's armament includes an Oto Melara 127/64 LW high-calibre Vulcano gun system, Oto Melara 76/62 medium-calibre gun mounts, two 25mm remotely controlled gun systems, MBDA's anti-ballistic missile system, and a heavy-weight torpedo system.
The PPA class has a displacement of 4,500t, measures 133m in length, has a beam of 16.5m, and a draft of 10.5m.
Powered by CODAG consisting of two Rolls-Royce MTU 20V 8000 M91L engines and a Marine Solutions LM2500+G4 gas turbine, the vessels produce a top speed of over 31kts and a range of 5,000nm at a cruising speed of 15kt with a crew of 171.
Francesco Morosini departed Italy for its five-month tour of the Asia-Pacific in early April.
Italian Navy Adm Enrico Credendino said the region was an area in which the Italian Navy had been missing for some years but was of strong military, diplomatic, political, and strategic interest.
The PPA will also appear at the LIMA defence show in Langkawi, Malaysia and participate in the Indonesian-led Komodo 23 exercise.
Francesco Morosini is scheduled to call on Yokosuka, Japan, in mid-June and Busan, South Korea, later in the same month.
On 11 April, the ship transited the Suez Canal for the first time en route to Singapore and Asia-Pacific.
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