:: SPICA I CLASS (1966) ::

Spica I class patrol torpedo boat (1966) High resolution picture

The Spica I class comprised six patrol torpedo boats built for the Royal Swedish Navy around 1966. These boats were specially fast and provided with gas turbine engines of very fast acceleration. Their bridge superstructure was placed backwards to grant the widest firing arc possible to the 57-millimeter cannon. This particular weapon, built by the national company Bofors, is extraordinarily effective, with a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute and a wide elevation arc. The Swedish Navy considered this weapon to be more effective than a missile against aerial targets and obviously it could be used as well against surface targets. It was controlled by a localization and tracking radar housed in a fiberglass dome, whereas the torpedoes were controlled via cable link.

Between 1973 and 1976 were built twelve units of the Spica II class, featuring a modified hull and separated radar devices for localization and tracking. Sweden did not adapt the Spica class to carry missiles, relying instead in a Norwegian project modified with Penguin surface-to-surface missiles. The Royal Danish Navy produced ten units of the Spica class with modifications; they were armed with surface-to-surface missiles Harpoon and a 76-millimeter cannon OTO Melara Compact, apart from the 533-millimeter torpedoes, and the bridge was reallocated into a more forward position. Another four boats of the Spica class were built for Malaysia, fitted with Diesel MTV engines.

Spica I class: 6 units - Capella, Castor, Sirius, Spica, Vega, Virgo

Type: Patrol torpedo boat

Length: 43.8 meters

Beam: 7.1 meters

Draught: 1.6 meters

Displacement (standard): 203 tonnes

Propulsion: 3 x shaft, 3 x gas turbine Rolls-Royce Proteus, 12750 horsepower

Speed: 40 knots (74 kilometers/hour)

Range: N/A

Complement: 28

Armament: 6 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube, 1 x 57-millimeter dual-purpose cannon, 2 x 7.62-millimeter machine gun, 2 x 103-millimeter flare/chaff launcher, 1 x 57-millimeter rocket launcher, 2 x minerail for mines/depth charges

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