Italian Maestrale Class Frigate

The Maestrale class is a class of frigate of the Italian Navy. The class is composed of eight vessels, all of which were built by Fincantieri S.p. A, Riva Trigoso, except for Grecale, which was built by Fincantieri S.p.A. - Muggiano, La Spezia.

The Maestrale class frigates were primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare, however the ships are highly flexible so they are also capable of anti-air and anti-surface operations.



Ships of this class have been widely used in various international missions, either under NATO or ONU flag, and during normal operations of the Italian Navy.

Maestrale is an enlarged Lupo Class frigate. It is marginally slower, but it has better ASW capability. The frigates of the Maestrale class are also known as the Venti (Winds) class. 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 first of these ships entered in service in early 1982. The rest of the fleet was launched over the next three years. The ships of the Maestrale class are scheduled to be replaced by the Rinascimento class.

MAESTRALE CLASS Specifications
Country of Manufacture Italy
Number in Service 8
Crew 24 Officers and 200 ratings
Armament Aspide SAM; 1 x Otobreda 127 mm gun, 4 x TESEDO SSM, 533mm and 234mm torpedoes, 2 x AB 212 helicopters
Length 122m
Beam 12.9m
Draught 4.2m
Displacement 3,250 tonnes
Powerplant 2 x GE/Avio LM2500 Gas Turbines and 2 D Grandi Motori Trieste BL-230-20-DVM diesels
Performance Max speed 33 knots range 6,000nm at 15 knots
First of Class 1981