The Italian Navy now has a fully-operational squadron of seven hydrofoil craft consisting of the prototype Sparveiro <based on Boeing's Tucumarisee Abs. No. 39874, May 1975 & 62551 July 1984> and six production craft, the first of which, Nibbio, was delivered in 1980. All were built by Cantieri Navali Riuniti, and are combat missile-armed craft <Italy is the only European NATO country with missile hydrofoil craft in fleet service>. These craft, of aluminium construction, have fully-submerged foils in a canard configuration; an automatic foil-stabilising system provides platform stability and controls banked turns; the craft can still operate foil-borne in Sea State 4 with a maximum continuous speed of 40 knots. Foil-borne propulsion <by water jet> is provided by a Proteus gas-turbine of 4500/5000 hp, giving a dash speed of 50 knots and a continuous 44 knots in the lower sea-states, with a foil-borne range of 400-450 miles. Hull-borne propulsion is provided by a 160hp Diesel, with a 360-deg steerable and retractable propeller outdrive, to give a continuous 8 knots and a range of about 950 miles. Turning radius at 45 knots is less than 150 m, and a crash stop <in trials> of 50m from 50.3 knots has been reported. Principal particulars include: hull length 22.95m <24.6m with foils retracted>; beam 7m; width across foils 10.8m; draught <hull-borne> 1.8m; displacement 62.5 tonnes; normal complement 2 officers and 8 ratings. The article includes brief information on the water jet-system.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Combat Craft, 2 <1984>, p.14 <Jan.> (1 p., 1 tab., 1 diag., 1 phot.)
  • Publication Date: 1984


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00686377
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: British Maritime Technology
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 14 1995 12:00AM