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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Fincantieri: “Thaon Di Revel” the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol ship launched

The ceremony took place in Muggiano (La Spezia) in the presence of its CEO Bono and the Minister Trenta

The launching ceremony of the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship (PPA) “Paolo Thaon di Revel” took place last Saturday at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia), in the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta.

Godmother of the ceremony was Mrs Irene Imperiali, nephew of the Admiral Paolo Thaon di Revel.

The ceremony was attended among others by the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Valter Girardelli, by Fincantieri’s Chairman Giampiero Massolo and CEO Giuseppe Bono.

The PPA, first of seven units, will be delivered in 2021 and it is part of the renewal plan of the operational lines of the Italian Navy vessels, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015 (“Naval Act”).

Vessel’s characteristics: PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship

The multipurpose off-shore patrol vessel is a highly flexible ship with the capacity to serve multiple functions, ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations and, in its most highly equipped version, first line fighting vessel. There will be indeed different configurations of combat system: starting from a “soft” version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defence ability, to a “full” one, equipped for a complete defence ability. The vessel is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.

132.5 meters long
Speed more than 31 knots according to vessel configuration and operational conditions
171 persons of the crew
Equipped with a combined diesel, a gas turbine plant (CODAG) and an electric propulsion system
Capacity to supply drinking water to land
Capacity to provide electricity to land with 2000 kw of power
2 modular zones at the stern and at the center of the ship that allow the embarking of various types of containerized operating/logistic/residential/healthcare modules (in particular, the stern area may receive and handle within a covered area up to 5 modules in ISO 20” containers, while the central zone may receive and handle up to 8 ISO 20” containers)

The PPAs will be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with delivery expected, for the first vessel of the class, in 2021, while the following deliveries will take place in 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), 2025 and 2026.

Paolo Thaon Di Revel 

Admiral Paolo Thaon di Revel –whose real name was Paolo Camillo Margherita Giuseppe Maria– was born in Turin on 10 June 1859. In 1873, he entered the Naval Schools in Naples and then in Genoa. In 1877, he was appointed sub-lieutenant and assigned to serve as junior officer onboard the iron armour-clad turret ship Affondatore and the ironclad warship Principe Amedeo. He later served onboard the corvette Garibaldi and the ironclad warship Venezia, and then was appointed orderly officer to Prince Eugene of Savoy-Villafranca. Promoted lieutenant in 1886 and lieutenant commander in 1895, he served onboard several ships. In 1904, as a captain, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the School for Engineers in Venice and of the Livorno Naval Academy. In performing these duties he gave a major impulse to the training and education of Navy personnel, at all levels. 

From November 1907 to November 1909, he commanded the battleship Vittorio Emanuele. In December 1908, on occasion of the earthquake in Calabria and Sicily, the Vittorio Emanuele’s crew gave an active contribution to relief operations, distinguishing themselves in the strong support to the reconstruction of the towns of Villa San Giovanni and Cannitello, swept away by the seaquake; for this operation, Thaon di Revel was awarded the gold medal for merit. Promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1910, in February 1911 he was appointed Aide-de-Camp of King Victor Emmanuel III, holding this duty until the end of September, when he was appointed Commander of the Second Division. In that period, he took part in the war off the coast of Libya: with the armoured cruisers Giuseppe Garibaldi and Francesco Ferruccio he sank some Turkish warships in the harbour of Beirut, took part in the bombing of Tripoli and of the Dardanelles outer forts; for these deeds, he was made a Commander in the Military Order of Savoy. At the end of the Italo-Ottoman war, he was appointed Torpedo Boat Inspector, holding this position until 1913, when - after a forty-year career (with 3-year seniority as Rear Admiral and at only 54 years of age) he reached the top naval rank, as Vice Admiral, and was named Chief of Staff of the Regia Marina. In this position, he gave a boost to the Naval fleet modernization and enhancement, increasing warfare combat training, developing and increasing the efficiency of the newly created submarine component  and improving defences and anchorages on the Adriatic coast, notably near Brindisi and Venice. 

Moreover, he laid the foundations for the Navy Air Force and raiding craft, which he always encouraged and honed, in order to improve efficiency in warfare operations in the confined Adriatic basin. He resigned in October 1915, and took command of the naval base of Venice. He immediately organised the defence against enemy threats from all possible domains (air, sea or land), realising more suitable equipment and craft for the most convenient warfare strategy for the Adriatic Sea, including the light torpedo armed motor boats (MAS). On 9 February 1917, he was reappointed Chief of Navy Staff and Commander in Chief of the mobilized naval forces. Thaon di Revel was a champion of the Italian interests in the Adriatic and unshakable claimer of the Italian leadership in this sea, always opposed to any effort to achieve a unified naval command in the Adriatic Sea. He became a senator in 1917. His decorations include two War Crosses for Military Valor and the Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Savoy. He was Minister of the Navy from October 1922 to May 1925. On 25 July 1943, he was President of the Italian Senate and, from January 1944 to June 1945, he had to take refuge in a safe place near Rome in order to preserve his freedom of action against the German occupation forces and authorities from the Italian Social Republic. He died in Rome on 24 March 1948.

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