The Durand De La Penne destroyers are able to perform anti-air defence for protecting task forces and convoys

In the service of the Italian Navy, in addition to the power of two Orizzonte-class destroyers, there are also two older Durand de la Penne-class destroyers, Luigi Durand de la Penne D 560 and Francesco Mimbelli D 561. This class is an enlarged version of the Audace class, updated with diesel and gas turbine CODOG machinery and modern sensors. The Italian Navy initially planned to procure four ships but the second pair was cancelled as it joined the Horizon Project.

By the time they entered service in 1992, the Durand de la Penne class were considered very advanced destroyers, with improvements over their predecessors in almost every aspect of their design. The ship has a standard displacement of 4,500 tons and a full load of 5,560 tons. It has a length of 147.7 m, a beam of 16.1 m, and a draft of 5 m.

Durand de la Penne-class
Durand de la Penne-class

The Durand De La Penne destroyers are able to perform anti-air defence for protecting task forces and convoys, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare operations, assistance during landing operations and coastal bombardment. The ship’s surface-to-surface missile system is the MBDA OTOMAT Mk2. Four twin launchers are installed on the missile deck amid-ship between the two radar masts. The missile uses mid-course guidance and active radar homing to approach the target at high subsonic speed in sea-skimming mode to deliver a 210kg warhead to a range of 140km.

The ship’s main gun is an Oto Melara 127mm gun, with a maximum firing rate of 45 rounds a minute. Three Oto Melara 76mm 62-calibre Super Rapide guns are installed. For anti-ship, the class is armed with two B515 torpedo launch systems by Whitehead Alenia. Each B515 is a triple launch tube system. For anti-submarines, there are 4 × Milas anti submarine missile.

The Albatros Mk 2 medium-range surface-to-air missile system is installed on the gun deck immediately behind the ship’s main gun. The system employs the semi-active Aspide missile to provide the ship with point defence with a range of 15km. The ship is also equipped with the Raytheon Standard Missile SM-2MR Tartar GMLS Mk 13 missile system for defence against medium-range airborne targets. The SM-2MR has semi-active radar guidance and a range of 70km.

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