The official handover ceremony for the largest patrol vessel ever built by Cantiere Navale Vittoria took place at the AFM naval base in Floriana, Valletta. The Italian-built 75m unit is used in coastal patrol operations, extensive high-seas patrols and search and rescue operations.
OPV P71 is the result of a contract with a total value of more than 50 million euros, obtained by the Venetian company first by participating in a pre-selection and then in an international public tender led by the island’s Ministry of Defense and Co. -financed ( 75%) by the EU under the Internal Security Fund (ISF) 2014-2020, the fund set up by the Union for the implementation of the internal security strategy, law enforcement cooperation and the management of Europe’s external borders countries.
With dimensions of 74.8 x 13 m and a draft of 3.8 m with a full load displacement of over 2,000 tons, OPV P71 can accommodate a crew of almost 50 and another 20 employees. The platform features an elevated bridge with 360 degree visibility capabilities, fitted with ballistic protection, with protected side passageways 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 to refuel a helicopter up to 7 tons such as the AW139, which is being 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 material and personnel, and hatches on the flight deck above for loading and unloading materials thanks to the ship’s dedicated side-mounted service crane .
A second station also for RHIB of 9.1 meters is located on the starboard side of the platform in the ship’s mid-section with compensated A-frame crane to launch and retrieve the RHIB even with units underway. Both RHIBs have a top speed of over 40 knots and willingly provide assistance with maritime traffic control and search and rescue operations in which the mother unit is involved. The P71 is propelled by two diesel engines, each 5,440 kW mean speed, driving variable-pitch propellers that can guarantee a top speed of over 20 knots at full load. Alternatively, at patrol speeds of between 9 and over 12 knots, the vessel can be propelled by two electric motors linked to the Transmission PTO (PTI) and driven by two of the three main generators delivering 750 kW medium speed. This diesel-electric solution at Patrol Speed allows for higher efficiency, lower fuel consumption, and most importantly, lower pollutant emissions for the unit’s most widespread speed range.
The ship is equipped with two transverse thrusters, one fore and one aft, and retractable active stabilizing fins that guarantee great stability and seaworthiness. Designed and built under the supervision of ABS, the P71 is armed with a 25mm remote-controlled weapon and light machine guns of various calibers, while the integrated command, control and navigation system includes 2D surveillance radar, navigation radar and satellite communications.
Source: News Network
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