Cassiopea-class patrol vessel

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Spica P403.jpg
Patrol ship Spica (P 403)
Class overview
Name: Cassiopea
Builders: Fincantieri - Muggiano
Operators:  Marina Militare
Completed: 4
  • Cassiopea (P 401)
  • Libra (P 402)
  • Spica (P 403)
  • Vega (P 404)
General characteristics [1]
Type: Patrol vessel
  • 1.130 t (1.112 long tons) standard
  • 1.500 t (1.476 long tons) full load
  • 79.80 m (261 ft 10 in) oa
  • 71.50 m (234 ft 7 in) pp
Beam: 11.80 m (38 ft 9 in)
Draught: 3.60 m (11 ft 10 in)
  • 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) maximum
  • 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) continuous
Range: 3,300 nmi (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Endurance: 35 days
Crew: 6 officers, 54 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 × SMA SPN-748(V)2 Navigation radar
  • 1 × AESN SPS-702(v)2 surface search radar
  • 1 × AESN SPG-70 (RTN 10X) fire control radar
  • 1 × GEM Elettronica Gemini-DB navigation radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Elint equipment
Aircraft carried: 1 Agusta-Bell AB-212 ASW helicopter
Aviation facilities: Hangar and flight deck

The Cassiopea class is a heavy series of four patrol boats of the Italian Navy. They were built in the late 1980s on civilian standards. They are designed for patrol in safe areas.

Development and design

In the early 1980s the Italian navy developed two classes of corvettes to replace older vessels. The Minerva class were fully combatant ships to serve as coastal escorts, and equipped with modern sensors and armament, while the Cassiopea class were simpler offshore patrol vessels intended to replace the old Albatros-class corvettes used for fisheries patrol.[1][3]


Construction of four ships (out of eight originally planned) was authorized in December 1982, with funding from the Ministry of Merchant Marine. Orders were placed in December 1986, with construction starting the next year at Fincantieri shipyard, Muggiano. The ships were built to mercantile standards, and the first ship entered service in 1989. A further two ships were cancelled in 1991, prior to the start of construction.[1][4]

The ships' main gun armament is a single 76mm/L62 Allargato gun; both gun and fire control systems came from scrapped Bergamini-class frigates. Each ship is fitted with a flight deck and fixed hangar to accommodate a helicopter type Agusta-Bell AB-212 ASW of the Italian navy. Each also carries equipment for dealing with pollution.[1] Between 2012 and 2014 all units were fitted with Selex ES Janus-N IR optronic system. As of 2014 the ships, starting with Libra were fitted with new dual-band navigation (X/Ka) Gemini-DB radar systems from GEM Elettronica.




 Marina Militare - Sirio class
Name Pennant
Laid down Launched Commissioned Motto
Cassiopea P 401 5846 [5] 16 March 1987 19 July 1988 21 October 1989 Adsum
Libra P 402 5847 16 March 1987 27 July 1988 23 March 1991 Patiens vigil audax
Spica P 403 5848 5 September 1988 27 May 1989 23 March 1991 Vigile attendo
Vega P 404 5849 30 June 1989 24 February 1990 8 May 1992 Sempre e ovunque


  1. ^ a b c d e Baker 1998, pp. 380–381.
  2. ^ "Pattugliatori OPV (PG)". (In Italian) Marina Militare. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  3. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 197.
  4. ^ Grove 1990, p. 95.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2016-11-18.


  • Baker, A.D. The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World 1998–1999. Annapolis, Maryland, USA. ISBN 1-55750-111-4.
  • Gardiner, Roger and Stephen Chumbley. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland, USA. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  • Grove, Eric J. NATO Major Warships - Europe. Tri-Service Pocketbook. London: Tri-Service Press, 1990. ISBN 1-85400-006-3.
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