The guided-missile patrol craft Saettia was completed in December 1985 as a private-venture sales demonstrator by Italy's Fincantieri but never found a buyer. Laid up during the early 1990s, the 170-foot, 40-knot craft originally had been equipped with four Otomat antiship missiles, a 76-mm dual-purpose gun, and a twin 40-mm antiaircraft mounting. The Italian Coast Guard (Guardia Costiera), whose large patrol craft fleet had not included a craft of more than 205 tons displacement, acquired the Saettia early this year, and she was redelivered on 20 July after extensive modifications. She now is based at Messina, Sicily, as the first of a planned series of five-to-eight seagoing patrol units of similar size. The armament of the 391-ton Saettia has been reduced to a single OTOBreda 25-mm gun. The original four diesels have been retained, but their exhausts are now trunked to twin stacks amidships, and inspection and rescue boats are stowed aft.
By A. D. Baker III