Launched in 1982, small frigates dedicated to anti-submarine role, the Maestrale-class of the Italian navy are still performing well. However, it is gradually being replaced by the FREMM multipurpose frigate, a stealth warship built by France and Italy.
The Maestrale-class ship is equipped with a IPN20 command and control system developed by Alenia Marconi Systems (now Selex Sistemi Integrati).
This ship is prone to anti-submarine warfare but in fact is a multitasking ship. To combat surface ships, Maestrale carries 4 OTOMAT / TESEO Mk 2 missiles. The range of this missile is about 160-200 km, the missile is fitted with a warhead of about 210kg.
Although the main task was anti-submarine warfare, the Maestrale-class ship had a good anti-aircraft capability due to its use of the Albatros missile system, which was later refitted with a more modern type – the medium-range version of the Aspide. The missile reload system is called Riva-Calzoni.
Onboard gun: Otobreda 127mm caliber mounted in the bow turret, with a rate of fire of 40 rounds / minute, a range of 30km.
Hangar enough room for 2 helicopters of this type.
The 27m-long helicopter landing deck is large enough for AB-212 submarine hunting helicopters type .
The ship is also equipped with two SCLAR rocket launch systems specialized to launch infrared (IR) bait to deceive incoming anti-ship missiles.
Despite being an old frigate, the quality of the Maestrale hulls is still very good, the proof is that the Italian Navy maintains four modernized Maestrale-class frigates until after 2024, meaning they will continue to serve for more than four decades. If the Philippine Navy acquires the Espero to coordinate with the two HDF-3000s that will be received in the near future, this will be a remarkable addition. Especially if the ship is upgraded before it is handed over, it will help the maritime potential of this Southeast Asian nation significantly increase compared to today.