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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

246-ft. Offshore Patrol Vessel Delivered to Armed Forces of Malta

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 7, 2022

Image Courtesy: Cantiere Navale Vittoria

Image Courtesy: Cantiere Navale Vittoria

OPV P71, a new 246 ft. (75m), 50-million Euro flagship of the Armed Forces of Malta -- the largest patrol vessel ever built by Cantiere Navale Vittoria -- today entered the port of La Valletta to start its missions of surveillance, coastal and offshore surveillance and SAR operations in the Central Mediterranean.

Measuring 74.8 x 13m with a draft of 3.8m and a full load displacement of over 2,000 tons, OPV P71 can accommodate a crew of nearly 50 and an additional 20 staff. The platform is characterized by an elevated bridge with 360-degree vision capabilities, equipped with ballistic protection according to level 2 of the STANAG 4569 (NATO standard), with protected side passages for personnel on the main deck and around the same bridge. The ship has an aft flight deck, designed to accommodate a telescopic hangar, with equipment for day and night flight operations as well as refueling for a helicopter up to 7 tons such as the AW139 supplied to the Armed Forces of Malta. The aft area below the flight deck features a launch and recovery ramp for a 9.1-meter RHIB with additional space for materials and personnel as well as hatches on the flight deck above for loading/unloading materials thanks to a special service crane placed on the side of the vessel.

A second station also for RHIB of 9.1 meters is located on the starboard side of the platform in the central area of the ship with compensated A-frame crane to launch and retrieve the RHIB even with units underway. Both RHIBs reach a maximum speed of over 40 knots and provide ready aid to the maritime traffic control and search and rescue operations in which the mother unit is engaged. 

The propulsion of the P71 is entrusted to two diesel engines of 5,440 kW each, of the medium speed type, which move propellers with variable pitch capable of guaranteeing, at full load, a maximum speed of over 20 knots. Alternatively, the ship can be propelled at patrol speeds between 9 and over 12 knots by two electric motors keyed to the power take-off of the gearboxes (PTI) and powered by two of the three main generators of 750 kW, medium speed, the ship is equipped with: this diesel-electric solution at patrol speed allows greater efficiency, reduced consumption and above all lower harmful emissions for the most widely used speed spectrum of the unit.

The vessel is equipped with two transverse thrusters, one forward and one aft, and retractable active stabilizing fins that guarantee great stability and seaworthiness. Designed and built under the surveillance of the US naval registry ABS, the P71 is equipped with a 25mm remotely controlled weapon and light machine guns of varying caliber while the integrated command, control and navigation system includes a 2D surveillance radar, a navigation radar and satellite communications.

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