Italian Navy decommissions ITS Espero after 36 years of service

Photo: Italian Navy
Photo: Italian Navy

Italian Navy decommissioned 36-year-old Maestrale class frigate ITS Espero on June 30, 2021, with a ceremony held at Naval Base in Taranto.

Espero (F 576) is the seventh ship of the Maestrale-class frigate of the Italian Navy. She was laid down on 1 August 1982 and launched on 19 November 1983 by Fincantieri shipyards. Commissioned on 4 May 1985 with the hull number F 576.

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ITS Espero decommissioning ceremony (Photo: Italian Navy)

The Maestrale-class frigates were primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), however, the ships are highly flexible so they are also capable of anti-air and anti-surface operations. Ships of this class have been widely used in various international missions, either under NATO or UN flag and during normal operations of the Italian Navy.

The ceremony was presided over by the Commander in Chief Naval Fleet Vice Admiral Paolo Treu. The ceremony was attended by local military, civil and religious authorities, and the former commanders and crew of the Espero. During the ceremony, the ship’s flag was handed over to Vice Admiral Paolo Treuit which will be permanently kept in Rome.

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Its Espero Decommissioning Ceremony (Photo: Italian Navy)

Seventh of the eight frigates of the Maestrale class, ITS Espero had played a fundamental role in many of the main international missions and operations with a total of 675,000 nautical miles traveled about 31 times the length equator.

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Its Espero (Photo: Italian Navy)

Now three Maestrale class frigates remain in service;

F571 Grecale
F572 Libeccio
F577 Zeffiro

ITS Espero

Displacement3.040 t (2.992 long tons), full load
Length– 122.7 m (403 ft) LOA- 114 m (374 ft) LPP
Beam12.9 m (42 ft)
Draught4.2 m (14 ft)
Propulsion– CODOG scheme-
2 × GE/Avio General Electric LM2500 gas turbines 18.380 kW (24.648 hp) each- 2 × diesel engines Grandi Motori Trieste BL-230-20-DVM, 4.044 kW (5.423 hp) each
Speed33 kn (61 km/h; 38 mph) (21 kn (39 km/h; 24 mph) on diesel)
Range6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement24 officers201 sailors
Armament4 × TESEO Mk-2 anti-ship missiles, double launchers
1 × Albatross octuple Aspide SAM launchers
1 × Otobreda 127 mm/54 gun
2 × Oto Melara Twin 40L70 DARDO CIWS
2 × Browning HB2B 12.7 mm
2 × MG 42/59 7.62 mm 2 × 324 mm triple torpedo tubes (Whitehead ILAS-3) with Mk-46 Mod.2 torpedoes
Aircraft carried2 x AB-212 helicopters

Check out Naval Library App to learn more about the specifications of the Maestrale Class Frigates.

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Italian Navy Decommissions Its Espero After 36 Years Of Service 6
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