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Andrea Doria class cruiser

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Name  Andrea Doria class
Preceded by  Giuseppe Garibaldi
In commission  1958 - 1992
Operators  Marina Militare
Succeeded by  Vittorio Veneto class
Planned  3
Andrea Doria-class cruiser

The Andrea Doria class were helicopter cruisers of the Italian Navy. Italy's first major new designs of the post–World War II era, these ships were primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare tasks. Initially planned for three ships, the two ships that were constructed, Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio served until 1991 in both active and training capacities. The Andrea Doria class formed the basis for the larger Vittorio Veneto that followed them.



Ordered in the 1957-58 Naval Programme, the Andrea Doria class were designed to operate the RIM-2 Terrier surface-to-air missile (SAM) system and Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters as both a platform for anti-air and anti-submarine warfare. The hull was based on the Impavido class, with a length of 149.3 metres (489 ft 10 in) and an enlarged beam to allow for the installation of a flight deck and hangar, measuring 17.3 metres (56 ft 9 in). The vessels had a draught of 5.0 m (16 ft 5 in) and displaced 5,000 tons standard and 6,500 tons loaded.

The flight deck measured 30 by 16 metres (98 by 52 ft) and was placed aft of the superstructure. It was cantilevered out at the stern to provide extra operational space.

Power and propulsion

The class was powered by four Foster Wheeler boilers. These provided the power to two double reduction geared steam-powered turbines creating 60,000 horsepower (45,000 kW) which drove two shafts. This gave the cruisers a maximum speed of 31 knots (57 km/h; 36 mph) and an operating range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph).


For anti-air warfare the Andrea Dorias were equipped with one Mk 10 twin-arm launcher with 40 RIM-2 Terrier missiles placed forward. The ships were also provided with eight Oto Melara 76 mm/62 MMI guns to be used for point-blank anti-aircraft defence. The class was originally intended to be armed with the SMP 3 76 mm/62 gun found on the Albatros-class corvette, however that gun was rated poorly and was replaced. The choice to arm the cruisers with the 76 mm guns was based on a decision taken in 1958 that only guns of that size were adequate in point blank air defence. The guns were placed in six single turrets amidships abreast the funnel and the bridge.

The cruisers were also equipped with six 324-millimetre (13 in) Mk32 torpedo tubes in two triple mounts. These were for use against submarines. In conjunction with the torpedo systems, the Andrea Dorias could embark up to four helicopters. The Sea Kings were found to be too large for the class and the Italians instead chose to use Agusta-Bell AB 212 helicopters modified for anti-submarine warfare.


Initially, the Andrea Doria class was equipped with SPS-12, SPS-39A for air search and surveillance and SPQ-2 for navigation radars. They also carried SQS-39 sonar. The guns were automatically controlled by the Italian-designed NA-9 Orion fire control system guided by the SPG-70 radar.


The class consisted of two vessels both commissioned in 1964 and in service into the late 1980s. A third, Enrico Dandolo (C555), was cancelled. Andrea Doria was modernised in 1976-78, exchanging the RIM-2 missiles for the SM-1ER surface-to-air missile. The ship received an updated electronics package, mounting SPS-40 2-D air search radar, SPG-55C fire control radar and SQS-23 sonar.

Caio Duilio received only a marginal modernisation in 1979-80 and instead was modified to become a training ship. Its aft hangar was removed and replaced with classrooms and two of its 76mm mounts were removed aft. In 1980 it replaced San Giorgio as the fleet's training vessel. Both ships mounted new electronic warfare packages, SPS-768 long-range search radars and SPR-4 intercept and SLQ-D jammers.

Similar ships

  • Vittorio Veneto
  • Moskva-class helicopter carrier
  • French cruiser Jeanne d'Arc
  • References

    Andrea Doria-class cruiser Wikipedia

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