Last week, during the Club Panerai Viareggio GTG, we had the opportunity to visit the Lupo/Soldati class frigate, the Bersagliere. It is one of four similar frigates in this class.
These frigates were built between 1985 and 1987 by CNR/Ficantieri for the Iraqi Navy, only the arms embargo prevented the deal and they finally found their way to the Marina Millitare in 1996. Essentially, this class is a kind of patrol ship with a landing deck and a hanger to house one helicopter. Landing helicopters means lighting gear - the specialty of Panerai. This lighting equipment mainly consists of 'roll indicators" at both sides of the superstructure (enables the helicopter pilot to see that the ship deck is balanced before landing), signaling equipment, landing light, flood color lighting (for the deck) and small 'button' type markers. Here are some:
Roll indicator (from Volker's post on the PF, highly recommended BTW, http://www.network54.com/Forum/353391/message/1336518512/XII+Meeting+Club+Panerai+in+Viareggio-Italy+-+terzo+parte
Large signaling projector (GPF Q/300)
Color discs (or better described as squares) for the above,,,,,,never seen them before
Small button marker. This one is 'Traser' type, meaning glass filled with tritium gas.
Hand-held electric signaling 'gun', GPF 1/58 (still in use!)
Original strap for carrying above,,,,,I'm sure somebody can make a good use of that old one,,,,
Not a light, but how about an original MM ashtray?
The deck landing lights, although no indication, they were made and supplied by Officine Panerai at the time the ship was built in the late 1980's.
The deck flood lights were an addition requested by the Italian MM and added on in the late 1990's. This was right after Panerai was bought by Vendome and the company name was now Panerai Sistemi, which was sold to Calzoni in 1999. So in fact, this model (SAE 401) is bearing a very rare company seal, one that existed for a short time.
I want to thank Piero for the invite and for the perfect organization as usual (this time with the assistance of his lovely wife, Rita).
Cheers and best from the holyland,