Italy’s Guardia di Finanza took delivery of a new flagship on 22 September 2022, a Damen Stan Patrol 6009 patrol boat.
The 60m vessel for the Guardia di Finanza – a law enforcement agency operating under the authority of the Ministry of Finance – was built at Cantiere Navale Vittoria Shipyard in Adria on Italy’s northern Adriatic coast, under a technical cooperation programme with The Netherlands-based Damen Shipyard Group.
The new patrol boat, P04 Osum, is not only the largest vessel to be operated by the Guardia di Finanza, but also the first patrol boat operated by the Guardia di Finanza with a fuel-efficient, hybrid, diesel-electric propulsion system.
Osum is the first of a new class of patrol boats for the Guardia di Finanza, the Bandiera class. Compared with earlier generation patrol boats the force operates, it is characterised by the application of innovative technology and a ‘green’ propulsion system.
In addition to reducing emissions from the vessel, the introduction of hybrid diesel-electric propulsion will ensure that Osum has an operational autonomy of up to 15 days and 2,000nm at a cruising speed of 18knots.
A maximum speed of 26knots in a wide range of conditions is possible thanks to the use of the Damen’s now well-known Axe Bow hull design, which enables the hull to ‘cut’ through waves with minimal resistance.
At lower speeds, the diesel-electric propulsion system enables low-emission operation at speeds of up to 9knots. This is achieved using twin 270kW reversible (PTI) electric motors linked to the drive shafts.
In addition to the Axe Bow and hybrid machinery, the Guard di Finanza’s new patrol vessel has the modern navigation, communications 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 deployment and retrieval of unmanned aerial vehicles from the aft deck and two, 9m rigid hull inflatable boats that can be rapidly deployed for interception, rescue and the boarding other vessels.
In addition to carrying out domestic duties, Osum, which was co-financed with European Community resources under the Internal Security Fund 2014-2020, will also enhance the operational capacity of the Guardia di Finanza in EU waters and the so-called enlarged Mediterranean.