Military Review

Penguin ice skating. Sparviero missile boats


The author has always been interested, so to speak, in small forms in navy. And he simply could not pass by at one time quite promising, albeit crude, development in the form of an Italian hydrofoil missile boat of the Sparviero type. Moreover, in his humble opinion, these boats are just a mental exception in the ranks of the Italian fleet, which almost always built exclusively elegant, even sophisticated ships on its slipways. And suddenly this “freak” appears, looking like a penguin, put on figure skates. Nevertheless, this boat did not lose interest in his person.

The direct progenitor of the Sparviero was the USS Tucumcari US hydrofoil experimental boat. True, the USS Tucumcari did not carry missile weapons on its board, limiting itself to artillery. This boat was developed by Boeing. On its basis, hydrofoil technology was developed, as well as an assessment of the operation of a jet propulsion device. USS Tucumcari even managed to show itself in the Vietnam War, but his century was short-lived. Already in the 1972 year, i.e. just four years after the start of operation, the crew rammed a reef at a speed of over forty knots during exercises in the area of ​​Vieques Island (Puerto Rico). And during the rescue operations, the Yankees overdid so much that they finally ruined the ship. Repair was found unprofitable.

Italian "birth"

Back in 1964, the Italian entrepreneur of Spanish origin Carlo Rodriguez, who built his business on the development of hydrofoil ships, and the Boeing Corporation, with the support of the Italian Naval Research Department, founded the Alinavi company. It was on the basis of this company that the first development of hydrofoil warships began.

Boat Sparviero

When the USS Tucumcari joined the US Navy in 1968, the Italians immediately became interested. Already in the 1970 year, the Italian Navy ordered Alinavi to develop and build a prototype hydrofoil boat, the American experience will serve as a starting point for this. The prototype received the name "Sparviero". And since it was rocket boats that came into fashion, changes were made to the original American version.

Performance characteristics:

- maximum length - 24,5 m, width - 7 m, draft - from 1,45 to 1,87 m;
- displacement - 60,6 tons;
- maximum hydrofoil speed in optimum weather - 50 knots (92,6 km / h), displacement speed - 8 knots (15 km / h);
- crew - 10 people, including two officers;
- autonomy - 1 day;
- cruising range at a speed of 45 knots - 740 km, at a speed of 8 knots - 1940 km;
- body and superstructure material - aluminum.

The Italian boat inherited from the Americans a hydrofoil system developed by the Boeing and consisting of one wing in the bow and two in the stern. Naturally, in different types of movement two different engines and two different engines were used. Under displacement mode, the regular Isotta-Fraschini ID38N6V diesel engine was operated, and the propeller was the propeller. When the boat switched to hydrofoil movement, the Rolls-Royce Proteus 15М560 gas turbine engine (5000 hp) with a water jet came into operation.

Given the cruising range and so on, the Italian military commanders planned to use these ships for short operations requiring high speed boats. That is why no housing units and especially the galley on the ships were not going to be equipped in principle.

The initial armament consisted of two Otomat anti-ship missiles at the stern behind the superstructure and one 76-mm Oto Melara gun on the bow.

Life at sea and on paper

The prototype “Sparviero” was laid at the shipyard in La Spezia in April of the 1971 year, and launched on May 9 of the 1973 year. The direct commissioning of the boat took place in the 1974 year under tail number P 420. During sea trials and direct operation, this boat justified the declared performance characteristics, but the start of the construction of a full-fledged series was constantly delayed.

In the 1975 year, the question was again raised not only about ordering a whole series of boats of the Sparviero type, but also about the additional purchase of two larger hydrofoil ships of the American-made Pegasus type. In the 1975 year, the Pegasus was being built by Boeing in Renton, Washington. These ships were supposed to work together as part of the standardization of weapons of the NATO bloc. But this group was never created.

In 1977, command was reduced to resolving the issue of mass production of Sparviero. At the same time, the order was placed at the Fincantieri shipyard. The "new" boats received an advanced Otomat missile launcher with a Teseo target designation system. They also planned to install more powerful Allison gas turbine engines on boats, but this was not implemented.

In total, from the 1980 to the 1983 year, six Sparviero hydrofoil missile boats were launched: Nibbio (tail number P 421), Falcone (P 422), Astore (P 423), Grifone (P 424) , Gheppio (P 425) and Condor (P 426).

These boats failed to show themselves in all their glory. Until the middle of the 90's, ships of the Sparviero type carried quite calm, mostly patrol, service to themselves. The high-speed stinging strike by rocket armaments, which was so calculated by the command, the ships delivered only as part of the exercises. At the moment, all boats are decommissioned.

Second short breath of life

At the beginning of the 90's, when Italians quietly sent Sparviero to metal, the Japanese became interested in boats. The country of the rising sun wanted to replace its completely obsolete torpedo boats of the RT-11 series - RT-15, with fast Italians, developing speeds up to 40 knots.

Sparviero hydrofoils

In 1991, the Japanese entered into a licensing agreement with Italy for the production of hydrofoil missile boats. Naturally, changes were made in terms of weapons. Instead of an 76-mm gun, an M61 Vulcan rapid-fire gun was installed on the nose, and instead of the Otomat complex, anti-ship missiles of the 90 type were delivered. And, of course, the new boats provided more modern radars. The gas turbine engine was also replaced with a General Electric LM500 engine in 5200 hp.

In the 1992 year, both boats were launched. At the same time, they were not provided with their own names - only PG 01 and PG 02 numbers. It would seem that the ships that have sunk into oblivion got a second chance. But suddenly problems with financing began.

The next boat was laid only in the 1993 year under the number PG 03. In 1994, when the third boat of the series left the stocks of the shipyard Sumitomo, the command had already completely cooled to these hydrofoil ships. As a result, they did not begin to order a fourth boat, and the project was minimized.

The Japanese trinity honestly crossed the line of the 2000 year, and in the 2010 year the last chick of the Italian-American company of Japanese shipyards was safely decommissioned.

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 12 December 2019 18: 34
    How awkward he is, but disproportionate)))
  2. andrewkor
    andrewkor 12 December 2019 18: 36
    Oh, these boats would be in Banderflot, but to break through the Kerch Strait (a pun, however, turned out)
    1. 210ox
      210ox 12 December 2019 18: 47
      And what do you think, these troughs are completely harmless with two missiles, an artillery mount and high speed? I believe that they are quite a serious opponent.
      1. Fat
        Fat 13 December 2019 01: 16
        Quote: 210ox
        And what do you think, these troughs are completely harmless with two missiles, an artillery mount and high speed? I believe that they are quite a serious opponent.

        This "creaturo miravilloso" is very bad with autonomy.
        1. YOUR
          YOUR 13 December 2019 04: 10
          So he is not designed for this. Acts in coastal areas, a volley of missiles and tear jumped out. That's what interests me, he doesn’t sit on his ass when shooting from a cannon. All the same, the gauge is too big for such sizes, especially when it goes on the wings.
  3. Amateur
    Amateur 12 December 2019 18: 39
    Italians, Japanese, Americans, etc.
    And what about Rostislav Evgenievich Alekseev and his hydrofoil ships?
    Not only "Rockets", "Comet", "Meteora" but also "Hurricanes"?

    Interestingly, the author does not know whether he is embarrassed or deliberately misleads Russian youth?
    1. Donald72
      Donald72 12 December 2019 21: 32
      Soviet designers have always been worried about, hydrofoils, hovercraft, ekranoplanes. But the author is wrong in one thing: to cram two rockets and a serious gun in such a trough is elegant, albeit outwardly freak.
      1. 30hgsa
        30hgsa 12 December 2019 21: 51
        Come on. Ours on the 183rd torpedo with a displacement of 60 tons (it became 70) managed to push 2 TERMITS :) (project 183-P). True, without hydrofoils. That's where the rabid flea was :) For Termite is not an ottom, there are 2 tons of take-off weight and 500 kg of warhead :)
        2 Egyptian boats of 70 tons each drowned a 1700-ton Jewish destroyer :)
    2. dauria
      dauria 12 December 2019 23: 17
      or deliberately mislead Russian youth?

      Actually, this is a global "delusion" ... SEC in the world is called "Russian", but on an air cushion - "English". This is due to the serial construction of "Rocket" and "Hovercraft". In fact, there was the Italian Forlanini with his bookcase and the engineer Levkov with his boats. But who remembers besides the specialists?

  4. eagle owl
    eagle owl 12 December 2019 18: 41

    Boat PG 01 (photo 2000)

    Boat PG 02 (photo 2001)
  5. tlauicol
    tlauicol 12 December 2019 18: 46
    ok rockets, but how did they shove a 76mm cannon at him?
    1. Avior
      Avior 12 December 2019 20: 24
      How is the second question
      First, why?
  6. Avior
    Avior 12 December 2019 20: 24
    Why is such a small boat such a big gun?
    1. 30hgsa
      30hgsa 12 December 2019 22: 05
      Rather, the question is why a NATO member in the Mediterranean needs a boat with anti-ship missiles.
      1. Saxahorse
        Saxahorse 13 December 2019 00: 29
        Quote: 30hgsa
        Rather, the question is why a NATO member in the Mediterranean needs a boat with anti-ship missiles.

        Why not? Unlike an airplane, a boat can approach and personally investigate the target. For example, make sure that this is not some kind of fisherman. Italy, with its geography in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, is just such a nimble one.
        1. 30hgsa
          30hgsa 13 December 2019 11: 41
          That you answered the question why a boat, and why RCC? :)
          1. Saxahorse
            Saxahorse 13 December 2019 21: 29
            And RCC, in case you don’t want to get very close. :)

            There, after all, it is full of all sorts of Arab "democracies" armed by the way mainly with a mosquito fleet. And Europeans periodically quarrel with them.
    2. tlauicol
      tlauicol 13 December 2019 04: 30
      On YouTube there is a video of American Pegasus in the flat version - so they pretty cheerfully beat out of the gun at full speed along the shore
      1. san4es
        san4es 13 December 2019 10: 24
        .... video of American pegasuses in the flat version

        hi ... a long movie.
        .... The Pegasus was a series of fast patrol boats used by the US Navy. They were in service from 1977 to 1993. These hydrofoils were designated "PHM". ...

        1. Svarog51
          Svarog51 13 December 2019 15: 24
          Alexander hi And how does his water intake take place when he comes out of the water? There, the water cannon works at high speeds. request
          1. san4es
            san4es 13 December 2019 19: 19
            [quote withdrawal occurs] [/ quote]
            ... from the intakes in the wing posts. I myself was not in the know. Subtracted on-net:
            A gas turbine was used for movement on wings, a diesel turbine was used for economic operation. Four water cannons were used as movers, with water intake through the nozzles in the sterns of the aft wings.

            - this is for Pegasus.
            ... Healthy Earrings! You are so alive belay What kind of wind? smile
            1. Svarog51
              Svarog51 13 December 2019 19: 49
              The amnesty was political. Released, only shaved already. Here I am growing up. good drinks Actually, I did not disappear, I was - "Guys, let's live together!" was. bully
  7. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat 12 December 2019 20: 43
    Nothing new. Just a reprint of an excerpt from the unique, but alas, ancient, like "this very" mammoth (1976 edition) of Zlobin's book "Ships on hydrofoils and an air cushion".
    1. Kostya Lavinyukov
      Kostya Lavinyukov 12 December 2019 21: 18
      If the book is of the 76th year, then how did the information from the 90s appear in it?
      1. evgen1221
        evgen1221 12 December 2019 22: 07
        Google sir and the desire to write something do wonders. It is logical that the person decided to check the combat path of the object of the article to the end, so he finished it.
  8. Mister X
    Mister X 12 December 2019 22: 18
    Thanks to the author for the curious material!
    I remembered: Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) and Nibbio (Kite) were called scouts of the “Aquila” type (L'esploratore classe “Aquila”).
    They were laid before the 1st World War.

    A few years ago I published a series of articles about this.
    From hand to hand, or the fate of the Romanian destroyers of the type "Merasht."
    This is about them.
  9. AAK
    AAK 12 December 2019 22: 38
    In my opinion, this is not a penguin at all, normally armed (like a corvette), very compact (only 60 tons of displacement against 200 tons for the Antares and 450-600 tons for the Uragan and Kunakhovich), very economical (at 5000 hp. - 50 knots, versus 60-65 knots for our SPKs with a GTE power of 18000hp, and they stood from 2 to 3, i.e. up to 54 thousand HP, respectively, the fuel consumption, the Italian went to maximum 750 km, ours - up to 750-800 miles, i.e. with 5-9 times greater displacement only 2 times further). The project had the right to life as an MRK interceptor (especially with external target designation) for surface ships in small and medium sea areas (Black, Baltic, Aegean, Mediterranean seas). In 1982, in Las Palmas, I saw the Jetfoil - a civilian passenger version based on the Boeing SPK Tukumkari, which flew into a fairly compact bay on wings at full height, reduced speed, turned around on a bend, sat on the hull and gently approached the pier for mooring, and practically did not make noise. When Bora or Kunakhovich left Sevastopol, the roar was like on an airplane taking off ...
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 13 December 2019 03: 31
      This is not a penguin or a "hawk", this is Aryol! Just sick!
  10. BAI
    BAI 13 December 2019 08: 44
    The nasal wing is only one. I wonder how it is with sustainability. At least three wheeled scooters are less stable than ATVs. And in the USSR, ships were not built with a central bow wing.
    1. san4es
      san4es 13 December 2019 10: 17
      Quote: BAI
      The nasal wing is only one. I wonder how it is with sustainability ....

      Normally. hi

      ... They hehe first. They do the calculations, they look at large-scale quality models ... some additions. After, the same on the chassis
    2. AAK
      AAK 13 December 2019 13: 06
      Indeed, sustainability is on par. The nose wing, in a system with ultrasonic sensors in the nose of the SEC and the on-board computer, due to the rapid change in the angle of attack of the entire surface of the wing (and not just the flaps, as on our SECs) compensated for the influence of the waves and significantly reduced keel pitching
  11. Bersaglieri
    Bersaglieri 13 December 2019 13: 19
    Not penguins, but sparrows (by name, translated from Italian). There were "toothy" sparrows for their time.
  12. Bobrick
    Bobrick 13 December 2019 16: 11
    Good evening! There were two questions about the operation of this type of ships in the fleet:
    1st: How do hydrofoils survive encounters with debris (Soviet comets had very big problems from collisions with a rafting forest)?
    The ocean is now quite dirty, floating a lot of different debris from plastic bottles to various barrels, etc.
    2nd: Did the hydrofoil seaworthy arrange the Japanese (judging by the pictures, the hydrofoil will withstand a wave of meter 2 without leaving the wings from the water)?
  13. Scharnhorst
    Scharnhorst 13 December 2019 17: 36
    All these Italian, Soviet, Japanese SPKs simply did not end up in "OWN" war! According to the criterion of cost-effectiveness, corvettes with anti-ship missiles would probably bypass when used for their intended purpose. And a big gun is like a man's ...
  14. Silhouette
    Silhouette 7 February 2020 21: 36
    The hydrofoil is a dead end branch of military shipbuilding. Seaworthiness is low, and for the use of weapons is even lower. Only for good weather.