The Italian Marina Militare has the Elettra as a research and surveillance vessel. She can develop oceanographic work as seabed mapping and electronic intelligence gathering or SIGINT, for which it incorporates advanced acoustic and reconnaissance electronic equipment. Elettra mounts two state of the art electro-magnetic engines, especially silent and efficient and it is the first ship in the world to carry this propulsion system. Other equipment is a ROV, (remotely operated underwater vehicle), that can operate up to 1,000 meters deep, a decompression chamber for 8 people, an echo sounder and the possibility to operate with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from its aft flight deck. The Elettra ship is a development of another ship that operates NATO jointly with the Italian Navy. This ship is called Alliance, and is fitted for oceanographic research and technological experimentation missions. The Elettra ship entered service in 2003 and the Alliance in 1988 and both are still in service.

ELETTRA gallery and more info


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Country of origin



Fincantieri, La Spezia


Intelligence collection ship – Spy ship

Entered service




Displacement, (full load)

3,180 tonnes

Dimensions (length x beam x draught)

93.50 x 15.50 x 4.83 meters


2 x GMT Wärtsilä CW 12V200 diesel engines, 2,990 hp each + 2 x ABB magnetic electric engines, 2,040 hp each + 2 x Isotta Fraschini IF V1708T2 diesel engines, 1,045 hp each

Power, (total)

5,980 shp + 4,080 shp + 2,090 shp

Shafts - Screws

2 shafts – 2 screws


16.5 knots (30 km/h)


8,000 n. miles (14,800 km) at 12 knots

AA guns

2 x 25/80mm OTO Melara KBA guns