On the first day of autumn, the third ship of the PPA Programme, named “Raimondo Montecuccoli”, sailed for the first time in the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
PPA3 is the first PPA in LIGHT PLUS configuration and just three years after the First Steel Cutting ceremony, successfully conducted its first sea trials under the supervision of OCCAR PPA Programme Division.
The fundamental characteristic of the PPA Programme is a high level of innovation, which provides the ships with a considerable degree of effectiveness and flexibility, while serving different mission profiles with enhanced multipurpose features, either to perform in all the maritime warfare domains or to support humanitarian and disaster relief operations, through new and enhanced modular capabilities. The main characteristics of PPAs are: very high speed, long endurance, resilience and seaworthiness, manoeuvrability, modularity and a high level of integration and automation. Furthermore, the environmental footprint will be smaller than ever, by further reducing emissions and by adopting new generation bio fuel and electrical propulsion.
Based on a common platform, PPAs will be delivered in three configurations with incremental capabilities:
LIGHT: Version with a complete set of artillery;
LIGHT PLUS: Version similar to ‘LIGHT’ but with added missile firing capability and with actuators planned also for ballistic missile defence; and
FULL: Version to carry out tasks in all warfare areas such as Anti-Air (AAW), Anti-Surface (ASuW) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW).
LIGHT and LIGHT PLUS versions have been developed with the “fitted for” approach; FULL versions can quickly be deployed also on LIGHT and LIGHT PLUS, facilitating operational flexibility and growing capabilities during the vessel’s life.
During the sea trials part of important objectives were carried out such as the propulsion and navigation performances. The delivery to the Italian Navy of the Third PPA (Hull number P432) is planned on January 2023.