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Audace class

Guided-missile destroyer

Audace class destroyer

Original plans for the Audace class called for a total of five ships, although only two were built

 
 
Country of origin Italy
Entered service 1972
Crew 380 men
Sea endurance 4 828 km at 20 knots
Dimensions and displacement
Length 136.6 m
Beam 14.2 m
Draught 4.6 m
Displacement, standard 3 600 tons
Displacement, full load 4 400 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 34 knots
Steam turbines 2 x 73 000 shp
Aircraft
Helicopters 2 x AB 212ASW or EH 101
Armament
Artillery 1 x 127-mm gun, 3 x 76-mm Compact guns (Ardito), one (Ardito) or four (Audace) 76-mm Super Rapid guns
Missiles 4 x twin launchers for Teseo Mk.2 surface-to-surface missiles, Mk.13 launcher for SM-1MR Standard surface-to-air missiles (40 carried), octuple Albatros launcher for Aspide surface-to-air missiles
Torpedoes 2 x tripple 324-mm tubes for Mk.46 anti-submarine torpedoes

 

   Both Audace and Ardito were laid down in 1968, launched in 1971 and commissioned in 1972. Audace had a pennant number D551, wile Ardito (D550), even though Audace was actually launched and commissioned first.

   Based on the previous Impavido class, they are general purpose destroyers with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles plus anti-submarine torpedoes. They also carry a pair of torpedo-armed ASW helicopters, normally the AB 212ASW, although EH 101 operations could be supported.

   When built, the Audace class deployed two 127-mm guns in single turrets but in both ships 'B' turret has been replaced by an octuple Selenia Albatros launcher for the semi-active radar-homing Aspide point defence missile system; long-range threats were dealt with by SM-1MR Standard surface-to-air missiles launched from a single Mk 13 launcher.

   The primary anti-ship weapon was the OTO Melara/Matra Teseo Mk.2 sea-skimming missile which had 180-km range, flied at a speed of Mach 0.9, and carried a 210-kg warhead. Four twin launchers were carried amidships, two each angled to port and starboard. Gun armament comprised a single OTO Melara 127-mm DP weapon in a forward turret; this could engage aircraft out to a range of 7 km, or strike surface targets at a range of 23 km. In addition, both ships were equipped with four 76-mm OTO Melara dual-purpose guns; Audace was armed with the Super Rapid version, while Ardito was fitted with a combination of Super Rapid and Compact guns of a similar caliber.

   Ardito was modernised in 1988 and Audace in 1991, and stern torpedo tubes have been removed. Both ships have also added improved electronic warfare equipment, and these vessels were used for the first ship trials of the EH 101 helicopter in 1992.

   Both ships were decommissioned in 2006. Soon these were replaced by two Horizon class anti-air warfare destroyers.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Audace (D551) 1968 1971 1972

decommissioned in 2006

Ardito (D550) 1968 1971 1972

decommissioned in 2006

 

 
Audace class destroyer

Audace class destroyer

Audace class destroyer

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