Launch of new Italian naval unit to combat illicit trafficking and improve cooperation with Frontex

The patrol boat was built by the Effebì Overmarine shipyard in Carrara – Avenza, according to an innovative project developed in collaboration with the Guardia di Finanza which, thanks to this new naval unit, will be able to integrate its own device to combat illicit traffic and improve the contribution in international cooperation operations under the aegis of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency – Frontex, in which the Corps plays the exclusive role of tactical coordination.

Petrucci is:

  • the first unit of a new and very modern class whose construction is co-financed by the European Union under the Internal Security Fund;
  • a concentrate of innovative technologies and expresses the state of the art in the sector, distinguishing itself for high safety and versatility of use.

From the technical point of view, the unit is 44 meters long and develops a maximum speed of 45 knots, thanks to a jet propulsion and 4 2600 HP “MTU” engines. It has a crew of 22 members, an autonomy of about 700 miles at maximum speed, it can accommodate Frontex liaison personnel on board as well as any castaways with a maximum capacity of 150 people. Also, the ship has an area dedicated to the use of remotely piloted systems (RPAS) to implement discovery capability.

Another peculiarity is the inflatable boat for boarding activities, which will be moved by an innovative launch and recovery system by means of an “stern slide”, adopted for the first time on the Guardia di Finanza ship, which allows it to be quickly launched water and recovery even in adverse marine weather conditions. The patrol vessel is equipped with four main systems, respectively for navigation, command and control, communications and armament, with a high technological standard.

The unit has, among other things, two solid state radars that ensure greater resolution and definition of the acquired targets and an optronic system for monitoring the operating environment. As underlined by the Commander General, the “Petrucci” is the first of a total series of 7 vessels that will consolidate the institutional presence at sea and in particular the projection device intended to operate in the context of international collaboration.

The construction of this new class of units is also part of a large, strategic project for the modernization and strengthening of the naval fleet that will allow the Guardia di Finanza to carry out even more effectively the functions of maritime police, for the surveillance of national and community maritime borders and for the fight against illicit trafficking, with particular reference to smuggling, international drug trafficking and illegal trafficking in human beings.