The Horizon-class frigate research program has been jointly developed by the three countries, France, Italy and the United Kingdom since the 1990s.

Andrea Doria review on Dung Tran Military channel


Although not as famous as England or France, the strength of the Italian Navy is cannot to be underestimated. Among the new generation destroyers of Italy not to mention Andrea Doria. She and her sister Caio Duilio form the Andrea Doria class; in turn these two ships, and the French vessels Forbin and Chevalier Paul, belong to the Horizon class.

Born under the cooperation of France and Italy, Horizon-class is considered one of the main classes of Italian naval warships in the ocean although the number is quite small. The Horizon class locally known as “frigates” though they are classified as destroyers using NATO classification. Andrea Doria has the hull number D553.


The Horizon-class frigate research program has been jointly developed by the three countries, France, Italy and the United Kingdom since the 1990s.

In Italy it was known as Project Orizzonte, which translates as “horizon”. However, due to various disagreements in the development of this type of frigate and the military doctrine of each country was different, Britain officially withdrew from the project in 1999 to invest money and manpower in the Type 45 Destroyer project of the country.

Andrea Doria
Andrea Doria

France and Italy continued development on their own. In 2000 a contract was signed to jointly produce 4 ships, two for each country. France ordered Forbin and Chevalier Paul, Italy ordered Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio.

Andrea Doria was officially commissioned at Riva Trigoso on December 22, 2007 and reached full operational capability in 2008. The motto is Altius Tendam, meaning “To tend higher”. The destroyer is the fifth ship in the Italian Navy to bear this name, referring to the Renaissance Genoese admiral and general Andrea Doria.

The Horizon class ships are officially referred as frigates. However considering their size and powerful armament these ships are clearly destroyers. These are called frigates purely for political reasons. These vessels have enhanced stealth features with significantly reduced radar cross section and noise levels.


Andrea Doria has a full load displacement of 7,050 tons with a length of 152.9m, a beam of 20.3m and draft of 7.6m. The ship is configured for rapid deployment and extended range and endurance and can carry sufficient fuel, water and stores for an endurance of 45 days at sea between replenishments.

The Andrea Doria was designed to be as little detectable by radar as possible, by using stealth technology for the hull and superstructure. Sea-keeping in unfavorable weather conditions is granted by two pairs of stabilizers.

The acoustic signature was also reduced with an appropriate choice of machinery and engineering solutions and verifying the intensity of the radiated noise, since the design phase. Equal attention has been directed in the infrared signature branch, by lowering the temperature of engine gases through coaxial exhausts.

Andrea Doria
Andrea Doria


The Andrea Doria’s propulsion system is configured in a combined diesel or gas arrangement with two GE LM2500 gas turbines rated at 20.5 megawatt each and two SEMT Pielstick diesel engines rated at 4.32 megawatt each. The engines drive two shafts with constant-pitch propellers.

The ship’s complement consists of 230 staff including Security and Flight teams, it can house up to 255 personnel.

Sensor and electronic systems

The main radar is the EMPAR phased array multi-purpose radar operating at G-band, it is arranged at the top of the forward mast in a large round radome. It counters different threats such as high diving and sea skimming missiles, aircraft and helicopters and any kind of vessels. The maximum range of the radar is about 150km.

There is also Thales S1850M air and surface search radar, operating at D-band is mounted at the top of the aft mast. The Selex RASS surface search radar, covering E and F bands, is mounted on the forward face of the mast. The Selex SPN753 navigation radar operates at I-band from 8GHz to 10GHz.

Andrea Doria
Andrea Doria

The Andrea Doria is also equipped with the hull-mounted TMS 4110CL sonar which operates at medium frequency in active search and attack mode. This is a high performance sonar that provides effective anti-submarine capability together with self-protection against torpedo threats and underwater obstacles.

The electronic warfare suite is 2 Radar Jammers, 2 Oto Melara SCLAR-H decoys launcher system for chaff and flares. The radar electronic support measures component features very high sensitivity, very high accuracy direction finding and broadband digital receivers. The vessle is also equipped with a SLAT torpedo defence system.


The Andrea Doria’s armament consisted of three OTO Melara 76 mm Super Rapid guns are installed as a pair on the foredeck immediately forward of the bridge and a single gun installed on the hangar overlooking the helicopter deck at the aft of the ship.

Also there are two Oerlikon 25 mm cannons for engaging small surface targets, are installed one to port and one to starboard. In 2018, the ship was fitted with two more Sitep LRAD Mass CS-424 acoustic guns.

Andrea Doria
Andrea Doria

The Andrea Doria frigate is armed with 2 twin launchers for Eurotorp MU90 lightweight torpedoes. MU90 has a directed energy warhead and a range of 12,000m at maximum speed and 25,000m at minimum speed.

The Andrea Doria is fitted with a 48-cell Vertical Launch System for a mix of Aster-15 short range and Aster-30 medium range surface-to-air missiles. This system is installed immediately forward of the two guns towards the bow deck.

Anti-ship capability comes from two quadruple launchers for the MBDA OTOMAT Teseo Mk.2A surface-to-surface missile, which has a range of up to 55km.


The Italian Andrea Doria frigate is designed with a helicopter deck and a hangar with full service for a single helicopter, it could be AgustaWestland AW101 or NHIndustries NH90. This helicopter can be used for long-range anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, utility and other roles.

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