Doha – Paolo Valpolini
Launched in early February 2016, Ferretti Security and Defence (FSD) is a new business division of the Ferretti Group responsible for the design, production, sale and servicing of naval platforms built specifically for security and defence customers. At DIMDEX 2016 FSD exhibited the models of its first two projects, three more being in the pipeline but at a lesser stage of development.
The first is the FSD 195,which 17° deadrise warped hull with spray rails is that of the Pershing 64 model, although the building is totally different: “the naval vessel hull is vacuum molded and made of a composite sandwich of balsa wood and fiberglass with carbon stiffeners,” Andrea Ameli, the FSD operations director tells EDR. This allows a 2 tons savings on the hull weight compared to the civilian version while maintaining robustness, a safety coefficient 6 being applied. The FSD 195 is powered by two MAN 1900 hp diesel engines linked to Top System TS85 surface propellers; these being trimmable and steerable, no rudders are fitted. “The FSD should reach a maximum speed of over 50 knots, and be able of travelling at 20 knots in Sea State 4,” Ameli adds. To reduce crew stress everybody on board is strapped to energy-absorbing seats provided by Shoxs of Canada, arranged in three rows of three seats.
Moreover, an electronic roll control system is installed to ensure maximum stability when sharp turns are undertaken. Two single cabins with a second folding bunk and a four-bunk bow-cabin allow to host up to eight people. The 20 meters long ship has a displacement of 38 tons, nearly 6 tons less than the civil version, and can be fitted with a bow weapon system up to a remotely controlled 12.7 mm machine. To protect the crew an armour kit can be fitted to the cabin; it ensures a Level BR6 protection adding some 1150 kg to the vessel weight. To allow easy transport by road, the whole superstructure can be easily remove and reinstalled. “We are currently building the first prototype of the defence version,” Giuliano Felten, Director of FSD tells EDR at DIMDEX, “after having sold over 70 civilian hulls, and we are proposing the 195 as fast patrol boat for paramilitary forces aimed at ensuring coastal security, a need felt by many services in this area. On the other hand we are also in an advanced phase of conceptual development of a bigger boat, the FSD 350, aimed at Special Forces operations,” he adds.
This 35.4-metre-long boat carries two 8.3 metres long RIBs at the back, each hosting up to ten operators and a coxswain. Each RIB can be launched with the FSD 350 underway, while for recovery a crane is installed. The 15° deadrise monohedron hull is taken from the Pershing 115 and is built in the same way of that of the FSD 195, which allows to spare between 15 and 20 tons, displacement laden being forecasted at 125 tons. This ship is powered by two hydrojets driven by two MTU 3700 Hp diesel engines, which ensure a 45 knots top speed; the customer can ask the addition of a 5000 hp gas turbine allowing to increase maximum speed to over 55 knots. The FSD 350 can host up to two nine-special operators teams and a crew of six. However, the design was conceived since inception for a stretched version, 38 metres long, which would allow to carry two 11-operators teams and a crew of 6 sailors.
As in the 195 the cabin can be protected at BR6 level, while gun up to 20-30 mm can be installed on the bow. The model shown at DIMDEX was fitted with a hangar in front of the deck that hosted an SD-150 Hero rotary wing UAS by Sistemi Dinamici, a JV between IDS and Finmeccanica Elicotteri. Construction of a prototype might start in 2017-18. Ten civil models have already been built, five with diesel propulsion and five with diesel plus gas turbine powerplant. Besides the two models shown at DIMDEX, the company has in the pipeline three more models, a light patrol boat, the 10 tons displacement FSD 115, the 25 tons FSD 150 BWO, which stands for Brown Waters Operations, and the FSD 235. The company is confident that its huge experience, the group is delivering overall some 150 boats per year, the new concepts adopted as well as its worldwide service network and renowned after-sale support will bring in soon some contracts.