Author Topic: Comandante Cigala Fulgosi Class  (Read 2365 times)

Dutch

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Comandante Cigala Fulgosi Class
« on: October 04, 2017, 03:22:05 PM »
Comandante Cigala Fulgosi Class



From Fincantieri
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Vessel size, high performance, transport and support capability are optimized to play different roles such as: escort, support, relief, interdiction and patrol operations.

Such ships are highly handy, have excellent nautical qualities and seaworthiness, long range and are able to operate in open seas missions and to manage protracted helo operations. The vessels are built following stealth principles and are able to accommodate different Combat System versions.

From Forecast International
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Mission. The ships are tasked with routine maritime policing and economic exclusion zone (EEZ) patrol.

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Design Features
... The light frigate-sized hull is topped with a superstructure featuring reduced signature characteristics, including inclined surfaces on the hull and the superstructure, and side openings (which house small service craft) masked by a mesh that deflects enemy radar.

The hull itself is slender and rather attractive, with a strongly raked bow with pronounced sheer lines. The underwater section of the bow features an underwater bulb for reduced drag and greater fuel efficiency. The aft part of the superstructure incorporates a helicopter hangar, with the associated deck forming part of the main hull. The hangar accommodates an AB-212 helicopter, which will later be replaced by an NH90. The aft section of the helicopter hangar is telescopic, provided by Canada’s Indal Technologies (ITI). It consists of three sections, with Fincantieri providing the fixed section, and ITI the two movable sections, the track, and the specialized doors. The hangars are also designed with maximum radar cross-section (RCS) suppression in mind, including a feature that allows the sliding door to be stored flat inside the hangar instead of requiring a large box, as is typical for roller-curtain doors.

The ship is powered by two GMT-Wartsila 28V26XN diesels of 8,685 shaft horsepower (shp) fitted with an exhaust cooling system to suppress infrared signature. These diesels drive two controllable-pitch propellers. The twin-engine configuration is expected to yield a top speed of about 25 knots.

Operational Characteristics
The operational experiences in the Balkan crises (Bosnia, Kosovo) and Italy’s need to monitor refugees arriving in increasing numbers from neighboring Albania and North have changed the operational concept somewhat.

Key changes to the design finalized in 1998 were made to improve the ship’s seakeeping capabilities farther out in the Mediterranean, in the Sicilian and Sardinian channels.

The larger size was adopted to boost the ships’ endurance and provide substantially more margin for growth of onboard systems. Also, the new ships provide more space to accommodate inspection teams, as well as refugees and/or survivors of disasters.

These ships are minimally armed, with the weapons suite being oriented exclusively toward the patrol function. They have no significant air defense capability (the hand-swung, unstabilized 25mm Oerlikon cannon technically have an anti-aircraft role, but this is theoretical at best). They are totally devoid of any anti-submarine or realistic anti-surface warfare capability.

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NUMC. During its gestation period, the Commandante Cigala Fulgosi patrol vessel class had frequently been referred to as NUMC (presumably for Nuova Unità Minore Combattanti, or New Minor Combatant Unit), until the class name was publicized in 1999.

To further confuse the issue, though, the same acronym has also been erroneously used on occasion to refer to the New Major Combatant Unit, which is a substantially larger frigate-sized vessel now known as the FREMM and built in collaboration with France.

Program Review
Background. The NUMC (Nuova Unità Minore Combattanti, or New Minor Combatant Unit) class program was initiated in 1995. Originally, construction of a third group of four Minerva class corvettes was planned to produce a total class of 12 ships. This program would have provided a single class of patrol ships to replace the mixed fleet of corvettes.

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A revised design based on the first proposal was presented in 1998. This featured a larger hull but less sophisticated equipment, reflecting reduced operational demands and the final elimination of the anti-ship missile armament provisions. The primary intentions were to improve the ship’s seaworthiness and extend its operating endurance. Part of the reason for enlarging the design was to provide added growth margin for possible future expansion, along with more space to accommodate inspection teams, refugees, or survivors.

Besides being built on a larger hull, which gave added seaworthiness, the new design eliminated the UAV launch/recovery capability. It relied on small- to medium-caliber guns for its self-defense and policing functions. These changes reflected the need to monitor a growing stream of refugees from both the Balkans and the North African coast. This aspect is a strong driver in the projected future mission of these ships. It means that the ships need to be capable of performing sustained and extended surveillance and patrol missions
at longer distances.

First Orders Placed. The order for the first four ships of the series was placed in February 1999. At that time, it was believed that the first-of-class would begin its sea trials in 2001, followed by the rest of the class at 6- to 12-month intervals.

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Funding
The program is funded by the Italian government for the Italian Navy.

Contracts / Orders & Options
Contractor: Fincantieri
Award: US$ 415 million
Date/Description: Feb 1999 – First batch of four units ordered.

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« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 01:25:04 PM by Dutch »