Italian Guardia takes delivery of first sustainable OPV

By Becky Schultz22 September 2022

P.04 Osum offshore patrol vessel with a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system The P.04 Osum is the Guardia di Finanza’s first sustainable OPV with a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system. (Photo: Damen Shipyards)

On September 22 at a ceremony in Genova, the P.04 Osum offshore patrol vessel (OPV) received the naval flag, marking her entry as the new flagship of the fleet of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, a law enforcement agency under the authority of the Minster of Economy and Finance. The P.04 Osum is the Guardia di Finanza’s first sustainable OPV with a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system.

The new vessel was built to a Damen Stan Patrol 6009 design at the the Cantiere Navale Vittoria Shipyard (CNV), based in Adria on Italy’s northern Adriatic coast, under Damen’s Technical Cooperation program. It has an overall length of 61 meters, a width of 10 meters, displacement of 500 tons and a full load draft of 3.15 meters, making it the largest in the history of the Guardia di Finanza’s naval service. It has been designated the first of the new “Bandiera” class, one characterized by the application of innovative technological equipment and green propulsion systems.

The OPV’s propulsion system includes two 20-cylinder MTU 20V 4000 M93L engines rated 4300 kW (5766 bhp) at 2100 rpm each coupled to a Reintjes gearbox type LAF 1963 HL-HR / 5.560:1 with power take-in system for low-speed patrolling. The diesel engines have a bore x stroke of 170 mm x 190 mm and a total displacement of 86.2 L (5260 cu. in.).

The introduction of hybrid diesel-electric propulsion enables continuous operational autonomy for up to 15 days and 2000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 knots. A maximum speed of 26 knots in a range of conditions is possible due to the vessel’s Damen Axe-bow, which allows the hull to cut through the waves with minimal resistance. At lower speeds, the diesel-electric system enables low-emission operations at speeds of up to 9 knots. This is achieved by twin 270 kW reversible (PTI) electric motors linked to the driveshafts.

P.04 Osum offshore patrol vessel with a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system The P.04 Osum has an overall length of 61 meters, a width of 10 meters, displacement of 500 tons and a full load draft of 3.15 meters, making it the largest in the history of the Guardia di Finanza’s naval service. (Photo: Damen Shipyards)

The OPV has modern navigation, communication and identification systems, allowing a crew of 30 to effectively carry out maritime policing and the monitoring of national and European maritime borders in all weather and sea conditions. Other notable capabilities include the ability to deploy and retrieve UAVs from the aft deck and two 9-meter RHIBs that can also be rapidly deployed for interception, rescue and the boarding of suspect vessels.

The P.04 Osum was handed over to the Guardia di Finanza in a ceremony held in the presence of the Minister of Economy and Finance Daniele Franco and the Commander General of the Guardia di Finanza, Gen. C.A. Giuseppe Zafarana. At the handover ceremony, CNV board member Luigi Duò said: “We are proud to be equipping the Guardia di Finanza fleet with its first diesel-electric offshore patrol vessel. P.04 Osum represents a convergence of innovation and technology that will ensure a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions and maximum flexibility of operational use.”

Antonio Marte, Damen Shipyards, added: “It has been a pleasure to work once again with CNV, this time to provide the Guardia di Finanza with their flagship and most innovative vessel. The project began just as the second wave of COVID-19 swept across Europe, but every effort was made to ensure that P.04 Osum was delivered on time and to the full satisfaction of the Guardia di Finanza. We are pleased that our local build program has enabled us to deliver such a sophisticated vessel alongside a trusted and valued partner.”

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