Impavido-class destroyer

The Impavido class were the second group of destroyers built for the Italian Navy after World War II and the first Italian guided missile destroyers. Similar in performance to the US Navy's Charles F. Adams-class, these ships were essentially improved Impetuoso class vessels, with the after gun-turret being replaced by a Tartar surface-to-air-missile launcher and associated radar.

Two ships were constructed in the 1960s in Italy, Impavido and Intrepido. They were in active service until the ships were retired in 1991 and 1992 respectively.

Class overview
Name: Impavido class
Operators:  Marina Militare
Preceded by: Impetuoso class
Succeeded by: Audace class
Built: 1957-1962
In commission: 21 November 1963 - 15 July 1992
Completed: 2
Retired: 2
General characteristics Data from [1]
Type: Destroyer
  • 3,201 ton standard
  • 3,941 tons full load
Length: 130.9 m (429 ftin)
Beam: 13.6 m (44 ft 7 in)
Draught: 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)
  • 2 shaft geared turbines
  • 4 Foster Wheeler boilers, 70,000 hp (52,000 kW)
Speed: 34 kn (63 km/h; 39 mph)
Range: 3,300 nmi (6,100 km; 3,800 mi) at 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 344 (15 officers, 319 enlisted)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • AN/SPS-12 Air search radar
  • AN/SPS-39 3D radar
  • AN/SPG-51 Tartar fire control
  • AN/SQS-23 sonar[2]
Aircraft carried: 1 Helicopter


The Impavido class were the first guided missile destroyers of the Italian Navy. The vessels were commissioned in the early 1960s and were roughly equal to the American Charles F. Adams-class destroyer. Both classes shared the Tartar missile system, with a Mk 13 launcher, and carried around 40 missiles. They had two fire control radars to guide their weaponry and all this was fitted in the aft of the ship. Both classes also had two single 127 mm (5 in) guns, but the American ships had these in single mountings and in a new model, the Mk 42, one fore and the other aft, while the Impavidos made use of an older Mk 38 dual turret.

Italian destroyer Impavido (D570) underway in the Mediterranean Sea on 19 May 1983 (6474637)
Impavido, in May 1983

One difference between the classes was the secondary weaponry. While both had lightweight torpedo launchers, the rest was different. The Charles F. Adams class had an ASROC launcher, dedicated to anti-submarine warfare tasks, to help counter the growing number of Soviet submarines. The Impavidos did not have such systems, but instead had four model MM (Marina Militare) 76 mm (3 in) guns. In the Mediterranean Sea, where the ships were intended to operate, there was always the danger of air attacks as the main threat to ships. This usually led to the construction of many Italian warships with a heavier short-range air defence armament than normal.

In service the MM guns were not considered satisfactory, despite having decisive improvements over the older American 76mm guns. Reliability left a lot to be desired, while the lack of a totally automatic mode of fire proved a disadvantage.

A characteristic of these ships were the superstructures, having a much less clean layout than other classes. They had a double line of windows in the main turrion, similar to the Alpino-class frigates.

They became progressively obsolescent, not receiving any important updates in their service lives.


Name Pennant
Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Fate
Impavido D 570 CNR Riva Trigoso 10 June 1957 25 May 1962 16 November 1963 Decommissioned 1992[2]
Intrepido D 571 Ansaldo, Livorno 16 May 1959 21 October 1962 28 July 1964 Decommissioned 1991[2]


  1. ^ Blackman 1971, p. 184.
  2. ^ a b c d Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 207.


  • Blackman, Raymond V.B. Jane's Fighting Ships 1971–72. London: Sampson Low Marston & Co, 1971. ISBN 0-354-00096-9.
  • Gardiner, Robert and Stephen Chumbley (editors). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.

External links

Media related to Impavido class destroyer at Wikimedia Commons

Corale Alpina Savonese

The Corale Alpina Savonese (CAS) is an Italian all-men a cappella chorus from Savona (Italy). Since 1987 it is directed by Eugenio Alipede.

Guided missile destroyer

A guided-missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. The NATO standard designation for these vessels is DDG. Nations vary in their use of destroyer D designation in their hull pennant numbering, either prefixing or dropping it altogether. The U.S. Navy has adopted the classification DDG in the American hull classification system.

In addition to the guns, a guided-missile destroyer is usually equipped with two large missile magazines, usually in vertical-launch cells. Some guided-missile destroyers contain powerful radar systems, such as the United States’ Aegis Combat System, and may be adopted for use in an anti-missile or ballistic-missile defense role. This is especially true of navies that no longer operate cruisers, so other vessels must be adopted to fill in the gap.

Italian ship Impavido

Impavido was the name of at least three ships of the Italian Navy and may refer to:

Italian destroyer Impavido (1913), a Indomito-class destroyer launched in 1913 and discarded in 1937.

Italian torpedo boat Impavido, a Ciclone-class torpedo boat launched in 1943. Seized by Germany and renamed TA23 in September 1943. She was sunk in 1944.

Italian destroyer Impavido (D 570), a Impavido-class destroyer launched in 1962 and decommissioned in 1992.

Italian ship Intrepido

Intrepido was the name of at least four ships of the Italian Navy and may refer to:

Italian destroyer Intrepido (1912), an Indomito-class destroyer launched in 1912 and sunk in 1915.

Italian destroyer Intrepido (1916), an Urakaze-class destroyer ordered by Japan from a British builder as Kawakaze she was sold to Italy in 1917 before launching and renamed Intrepido. Two days later she was further renamed Audace. Launched in 1917, seized by Germany in 1943 and renamed TA20. Sunk in 1944.

Italian torpedo boat Intrepido, a Ciclone-class torpedo boat launched in 1943. Seized by Germany and renamed TA25 in September 1943. She was sunk in 1944.

Italian destroyer Intrepido (D 571), an Impavido-class destroyer launched in 1962 and decommissioned in 1991.

RIM-24 Tartar

The General Dynamics RIM-24 Tartar was a medium-range naval surface-to-air missile (SAM), and was among the earliest surface-to-air missiles to equip United States Navy ships. The Tartar was the third of the so-called "3 T's", the three primary SAMs the Navy fielded in the 1960s and 1970s, the others being the RIM-2 Terrier and RIM-8 Talos.

Impavido-class destroyers
Italian destroyers, frigates and corvette classes post-1945


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