Close this search box.

Guardians of the Azure: The “Tenente Petrucci” Patrols the Mediterranean with Cutting-Edge Tech


Imagine a sleek patrol boat slicing through the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, its powerful engines leaving a trail of white foam in its wake. This isn’t a high-end yacht, but the “Tenente Petrucci”, a formidable patrol boat safeguarding Italy’s coastline under the watchful eye of the Guardia di Finanza.

This 44-meter long sentinel is not just aesthetically pleasing; it’s a wonder of contemporary naval engineering. Effebi, a prestigious Italian shipbuilding company, utilized its years of expertise to construct this Coastal Patrol Vessel (CPV). However, what truly distinguishes the “Tenente Petrucci” is its groundbreaking propulsion system – four powerful MJP 650 CSU waterjets.

Contrary to propellers that spin to generate thrust via water friction, waterjets use a pump-jet design concept. Water is sucked in through an intake and funneled into an impeller. The impeller, similar to a centrifugal pump, bestows substantial speed to the water stream. This high-velocity flow is then guided through a meticulously engineered nozzle, transforming the kinetic energy of the water into a potent thrust that drives the vessel forward. This results in several benefits.

Superior maneuverability and safety

Firstly, waterjets offer unparalleled maneuverability. The “Tenente Petrucci” can navigate across the waves with incredible agility, allowing it to chase down suspicious vessels or steer through tight spaces with ease.

One of the key advantages of the “Tenente Petrucci’s” waterjet propulsion system is its inherent safety for swimmers in the water. This is particularly crucial given the vessel’s role in rescuing refugees following shipwrecks or capsized boats attempting to reach Europe. Unlike traditional propellers, waterjets do not have exposed blades that could cause injury.

Furthermore, waterjets excel in shallow water operations, another significant benefit for the “Tenente Petrucci”. Italy’s coastline is known for its hidden reefs and rocky outcrops, posing a threat to vessels with traditional propellers. The “Tenente Petrucci”, however, can confidently skim the surface thanks to its waterjets, ensuring it remains operational and undeterred by these underwater hazards during vital search and rescue missions.

Power and endurance

But power isn’t compromised for agility. Four MTU 16V2000M96L engines, each a powerhouse generating a whopping 1939kW, lie at the heart of the vessel. This translates to a thrilling top speed of 45 knots. The “Tenente Petrucci” possesses the capability to apprehend high-speed vessels during maritime interdictions.

But speed isn’t everything. The “Tenente Petrucci” is built for endurance as well. With a range of 700 miles at maximum speed, it can patrol vast stretches of the Mediterranean without needing to refuel constantly. This extended range allows the crew to cover more territory, ensuring Italy’s maritime borders are well-protected.

The “Tenente Petrucci” by Effebi shipyard features four MJP 650 CSU waterjets for superior maneuverability and safety, serving the Guardia di Finanza in maritime rescue operations. (Photos used courtesy of Effebi Spa)

A quad waterjet installation allows the vessel to patrol with only two engines engaged while still allowing for exceptional maneuverability. By utilizing only two engines at cruising speeds, the overall lifespan of the engines is significantly doubled. This stands in stark contrast to traditional twin-engine, propeller-driven vessels that require both engines to be constantly operational. The waterjet configuration also unlocks the possibility of using lighter, higher-performance engines instead of the typical heavy-duty machinery found on conventional patrol boats. This translates to lower fuel consumption and reduced maintenance costs throughout the vessel’s operational life cycle.

The MJP 650 CSU waterjet powers the “Tenente Petrucci” patrol boat, providing exceptional maneuverability and safety for maritime operations. (Photos used courtesy of Effebi Spa)

The “Tenente Petrucci” is also a beacon of hope in times of need. With a crew of 23 and the capacity to take on board up to 150 people during rescue operations, it can be a lifeline for those in distress at sea. The vessel is also equipped for firefighting, further bolstering its role as a multi-purpose guardian. A fast-launching tender system, deployed via a ramp instead of a crane, allows for swift deployment of crew and equipment during critical situations. Every second counts during a rescue or firefighting operation, and the “Tenente Petrucci” is designed to minimize those precious seconds.

The design pedigree of the “Tenente Petrucci” is equally impressive. The vessel’s sleek lines and efficient hull were brought to life by none other than Marco Arnaboldi, a well-known Italian yacht designer. This collaboration between Effebi’s shipbuilding expertise and Marco Arnaboldi’s design flair resulted in a patrol boat that’s not just functional but undeniably attractive.

The “Tenente Petrucci” represents the cutting edge of Italian maritime technology. Its combination of waterjet propulsion, powerful engines, and versatile capabilities makes it a formidable force in safeguarding the Mediterranean. It’s a testament to Italian ingenuity and a symbol of hope for those who seek safety on the vast expanse of the sea.


SAIM: Mini Controller

The Mini Controller designed by the Swedish Zipwake and distributed in Italy