Between the 1950s and '70s, the Italian Navy was experimenting with particular gunboats whose armament and configuration could be quickly changed. These boats would be called convertible gunboats (motoconvertibili), going from the MC-490 to the Lampo class and finally the Freccia class. The P-494 Saetta was the second and last of the Freccia class to be built, laid down 11 June 1964, launched 11 April 1965 and finally commissioned 25 April 1966. She took part in several sea trials and tests, changing armament several times like her sister P-493 Freccia, but in comparison to her sister she would use the missile gunship configuration equipped with a 105 mm missile launcher tower, firing Nettuno anti-ship explosive missiles with a small electronic fuse for aerial targets. This configuration was used only by the P-494 Saetta, because eventually the project was abandoned and the P-494 Saetta would be decommissioned on 15 May 1986.
The P-494 Saetta was added with the Italian naval tech tree in Update "Starfighters", and was the first ship in the game to have anti-ship missiles. It is equipped with two 40 mm Breda-Bofors cannons that are excellent for taking out coastal ships and enemy aircraft with HE and HE-VT projectiles, but very ineffective against destroyers and cruisers. This is where the 105 mm missile launcher equipped with Nettuno missiles comes in, these anti-ship missiles can severely damage destroyers and cruisers if aimed at the right spots.
Survivability and armour
The only armour on this vehicle surrounds the two 40 mm main cannons, which can be useful for keeping the guns operational when coming under fire. However, the rest of the vehicle has no armour protection.
The Saetta can survive a number of hits when dealing with gunboats, but higher-calibre cannons such as those on destroyers will have no trouble sinking it.
The hull of this vessel is made up of 8 mm of steel, and the superstructure is made up of 4 mm of steel.
|Game Mode||Upgrade Status||Maximum Speed (km/h)|
The Saetta has the highest top speed of any non-premium tier 2 Italian boat. With such speed, it is often able to reach desirable locations on the map before the enemy is able to.
Modifications and economy
The main armament on the Saetta is a pair of 40 mm/70 Breda-Bofors Type 107 cannons, one at the bow and one at the stern. These guns have access to two ammunition belt types, High Explosive Fragmentation Incendiary Tracers belts or High Explosive Variable Time Fuse belts, the latter of which has a 7 m trigger radius making it quite useful for dealing enemy aircraft, especially when they are at relatively close range.
Both turrets have a full 360° arc of horizontal rotation and traverse at 95°/second, certainly fast enough to keep up with most surface and air targets. These guns are protected by some armour which will aid in keeping them operational against enemy fire, although this is the only armour on the whole vessel.
The Secondary armament on the Saetta is the Nettuno missile (also known as "Sea Killer Mk.1"), these missiles have a range of 10 km (6.2 miles) with a max velocity of 280 m/s and carry a warhead with just over 25 kg of TNT equivalent, these also feature a proximity fuse making them ideal for engaging enemy air units as well as their usual anti ship-role.
The missiles are carried in a five-round launcher just behind the Saetta's bridge and smoke funnel structure which does mean that the launcher cannot be aimed towards the bow but rather has a 260 degree turning arc of which it navigates at a speed of 11 degrees per second.
Usage in battles
The guided missiles are the Saetta's most unique feature. This missile can be used to attack ships quite effectively (usually it can destroy a smaller vessel in one hit), and is also very capable of destroying enemy aircraft, thanks to its proximity fuse. When using the missile, remember that the launcher cannot point directly forwards, and that the enemy must be near the sides or rear of the vessel before a firing solution is achieved. Also keep in mind that the missile is not very fast (280 m/s), and that it can take a considerable amount of time to reach the target.
As for the main cannons, the Saetta's 40 mm Bofors are great for dealing with smaller boats. They can be used to sink destroyers, but it will usually take a considerable length of time to do so. The Saetta is equipped with a radar, and has a lead indicator for use in an anti-air role. The lead indicator, when used with the vehicle's 40 mm cannons, makes dealing with aircraft a breeze.
This vessel has quite a high top speed, and is often able to reach favourable positions on the map before the enemy. This speed can also be used to help the vessel outflank the enemy and take them by surprise.
Since the Saetta is unable to survive more than a few hits from an enemy destroyer, it is recommended to stay away from their firing lines, and to keep to cover if possible. Certainly, it is almost never a good idea to engage an enemy destroyer at ranges above one or two kilometres.
Pros and cons
- Equipped with Nettuno guided missiles
- Guided missiles are able to make quick work of enemy ships
- High speed
- Radar with lead indicator
- Cannons provide great stopping power
- Great agility
- Not suited for fighting destroyers
- Not suited for long range combat with its cannons
- No armour
The Saetta, designated MC591 when it was built, was a Motoconvertible gun boat, this series was an evolution of the earlier Lampo class which itself was a development of the MC490 Folgore. The Saetta is the second ship of the Freccia class, being laid down after the Freccia P-493 and before the never completed Dardo P-495. After its launch in 1965 the Saetta was outfitted and entered service with the Italian Navy on the 25th April 1966. In the same year as its commissioning the centrally mounted 40 mm turret was replaced with a five round launcher for the Nettuno (later designated "Sea Killer Mk.1") Anti Ship Missile, these missiles were carried onboard until the mid 1970s after which the main role of the Saetta (P-494) and its sister ship Freccia (P-493) were taken over by the Sparviero class patrol boats of which more were available, with 7 in active service at the time. With less demand for the use of the two ships the Freccia was decommissioned on the 15th of February 1985 and the Saetta on the 15th of May 1986.
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|Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico (C.R.D.A)|
|Motor Torpedo/Gun Boats|
|Motosilurante CRDA 60 t Type I||MS-15 · MV-611*|
|Motosilurante CRDA 60 t Type II||MS-53|
|Motosilurante CRDA 60 t Convertibile||MS-472 · MS-473|
|*MS-11 converted to a motovedette (patrol boat)|
|Motor torpedo boats||MC-490 · Freccia P-493 · MAS 555 · MAS 561 · MAS 569|
|MS-15 · MS-53 · MS-472 · Stefano Turr · VAS 201 · GIS 811 · MC 485|
|Motor gun boats||MS-473 · MV-611 · Sparviero|
|Motor torpedo gun boats||Saetta P-494|