Audace class guided missile destroyers - Not such a simple improvement

Would you like to see the Audace class guided missile destroyers added to the game at some point?
  • Yes
  • Maybe
  • Unsure
  • I don’t think they should be added to the game
0 voters
What configuration should they be added in?
  • As built
  • 1980’s Modernization
  • Late 1990’s - early 2000’s modernization (loses 2 76mm gun turrets)
  • Unsure
  • I said no to the first question
0 voters

Audace class guided missile destroyers - Not such a simple improvement

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Note - I would go more into these ships history however I can’t really find any sources which do them any real justice for any real service history other than dates to construction and dates of decommissioning etc. Also the 1990’s - 2000’s modernization is included as a slightly different version of the 1980’s modernization as at some point the armament was modified however I lack a date and only know some limited changes that were made.

Reference - In terms of images for context of anyone viewing this Audace’s hull number is D 551, the sister ship Ardito’s hull number is D 550.


Background & History

The Audace class guided missile destroyers were a class of two guided missile destroyers built for the Italian navy starting in the late 1960’s, these ships were an improved design of previous Impavido which was built starting in the 1950’s. The Audace class itself was both a radical and minor upgrade in it’s own right as at a glance they may not look the same but upon closer inspection the similarities are visible, the ships design despite being a guided missile destroyer the main was in the form of it’s gun based weaponry as the missile armament was the exact same, however the gun armament consisted of far more modern weapons as well as including more modern radar systems along with other things.

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In terms of these new weapon systems they were in the form of a modern Italian designed OTO Melara 127mm/54 guns which were split into a pair of super firing turrets giving the main battery much greater rate of fire and the secondary battery which consisted OTO Melara 76mm/62 M.M.I. guns from the 1960’s were replaced by the more well known OTO Melara 76mm/62 compact gun mounts. The ships did make some initial improvements in other areas as they came with 4 21 inch torpedo tubes (many sources say these are triple mounts however one source provides visual evidence indicating that their are only 4) along with the 2 triple 12.75 inch torpedo tube mounts however later on this would be reduced to the 12.75 inch tubes. The missile armament remained the same at first as just 40 RIM-24 surface to air missile which were fired from 1 Mark 13 missile launcher however in service they would receive a major modernization which reduced the main armament and added new missiles as the RIM-24 was replaced by the RIM-66, a 8 cell Albatros SAM launcher which used Aspide surface to air missiles, and 8 Teseo missile launchers which used Otomat anti ship missiles placed into 2 quad mounts, they also did replace the remaining OTO Melara 76mm compact gun mounts with compact SR or super rapid mounts which were faster firing versions, later on however two of the four mounts were removed likely between the late 1990’s and early 2000’s from my best estimations.

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The ships themselves were both laid down in 1968, launched in 1971 and commissioned in 1972. During their careers they would undergo at least one major modernization in the 1980’s which did the changes mentioned previously, however none of the sources really go into discussing about their service history in any fair detail beyond the fact they are both used quite a bit in service and took part in the crisis in Lebanon in the 1980’s and the Gulf war in the 1990’s, both ships remained in service until September 28th, 2006 with a few of those final years due to a delay in Horizon program and both ships were only scrapped in 2018. Following the completion of the Audace class a new guided missile destroyer would not begin construction until 1989 when the succeeding Durand de la Penne class was laid down, yet despite how much time had passed the new class would be an enlarged version of the Audace class.

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Specifications

Displacement - 4,554 tons full load

Length - 140.7 m (461 ft 7 in)

Beam - 14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)

Draft - 4.5 m (14 ft 9 in)

Propulsion -

2-shaft geared steam turbines (Audace; CNR geared steam turbines / Ardito; Ansaldo geared steam turbines)

4 × Foster Wheeler boilers providing 73,000 hp (54,000 kW)

Speed - 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)

Complement - 380

Sensors and systems -

As built

SPS-12 radar (Ardito)

RAN-3 radar (Audace)

SPS-52B radar

SPQ-2 radar

2 x SPG-51B radar

3 x RTN-10X radars

CWE-610 sonar

1980’s modernization

SPS-768 radar

SPS-774 radar

SPS-52C radar

SPQ-2D radar

2 x SPG-51C radars

3 x SPG-76 radars

CWE-610 sonar

Electronic warfare and countermeasures -

As built

2 x SCLAR decoy RL

SADOC CCS

1980’s modernization

2 x SCLAR decoy RL

SLQ-732 Nettuno ECM suite

SLQ-25 Nixie torpedo decoy

SADOC-2 (IPN-20) CCS

Armament -

As built

Main armament

2 x OTO Melara 127mm/54 Compact guns (2 x 1)

Secondary armament

4 x OTO Melara 76mm/62 Compact guns (4 x 1)

Missile launchers

1 x Mark 13 missile launcher

(40 RIM-24 Tartar surface to air missiles)

Torpedo tubes

4 x 21 inch (533mm) torpedo tubes (4 x 1)

(12 type A-184 torpedos carried total)

6 x 12.75 inch (324mm) B-515/ILAS-3 (Mark 32 Mod. 5) torpedo tubes (2 x 3)

(12 Mark 46/A244 torpedos carried total)

1980’s modernization

Main armament

1 x OTO Melara 127mm/54 Compact guns (1 x 1)

Secondary armament

4 x OTO Melara 76mm/62 Compact SR guns (4 x 1) (Later reduced to 2 mounts, sometime between the later half of the 1990’s and early half of the 2000’s based off images)

Missile launchers

4 x Teseo Mark 2 missile launchers (4 x 2) (number can be reduced with different mountings as the twins can be replaced with single launchers)

(up to 8 Otomat Mark 2 anti ship missiles)

1 x Mark 13 missile launcher

(40 RIM-66 surface to air missiles)

1 x Albatros missile launcher (1 x 8)

(16 Aspide surface to air missile total (8 loaded + 8 for reload))

Torpedo tubes

6 x 12.75 inch (324mm) B-515/ILAS-3 (Mark 32 Mod. 5) torpedo tubes (2 x 3)

(12 Mark 46/A244 torpedos carried total)

Other weapons

2 x 20mm Oerlikon’s (2 x 1)


More images

Spoiler

OTO Melara 127mm guns

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OTO Melara 76mm guns

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Mark 13 missile launcher

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Teseo Mark 2 missile launchers

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Note - The one of the right is an example of a twin mount, the one on the left is an example of a single mount.

Albatros missile launcher

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21 inch torpedo tubes

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12.75 inch torpedo tubes

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Other images of the ships

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Sources

Spoiler

AUDACE missile destroyers (1972-1973)

audace

https://www.military-today.com/navy/audace_class.htm

Audace-class destroyer (1971) - Wikipedia

Audace class Guided Missile Destroyer DDG Italian Navy MMI

Classe Audace (cacciatorpediniere 1971) - Wikipedia

Image sources

Spoiler

audace

Audace class Guided Missile Destroyer DDG Italian Navy MMI

https://www.reddit.com/r/WarshipPorn/comments/bj2aje/audace_d_551_an_audaceclass_destroyer_of_the/

https://www.reddit.com/r/WarshipPorn/comments/cw0xuv/nave_audace_the_lead_ship_of_its_class_doing_a/

https://www.reddit.com/r/WarshipPorn/comments/wg8u5l/the_italian_destroyer_audace_in_toulon_in/

2 Likes

+1 great suggestion, all the versions must be added

1 Like

Very beautiful ship

Original version of 2 127 mm + Tartar would be nice competent to Bravy(Actually would be better because of guns)