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Indonesian Navy in DRASS

DRASS had the honor of receiving the delegation from the Indonesian Navy.
During this visit the commission were especially interested to tour the historical gallery of DRASS’ world-first innovations spanning a century, followed by a tour of the various production facilities for a glimpse of our latest projects and cutting-edge technology.
DRASS Group thanks our guests once again for their special visit.

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Sergio Pucciarini: from Decima MAS to COSMOS

Extract from an article by Lino Mancini for AltoMareBlu
Lino Mancini is an investigative journalist who has researched specific historical events of the Second World War. He was Chief Executive Officer of historic Italian firm Cabi Cattaneo for many years and is acclaimed author of the book Malta 2.

A few months ago, naval architect Franco Harrauer died with whom, belatedly, since 2011, I had the opportunity to establish a good friendship.

Whilst in search for images for my book Malta 2, detailing Italy’s attack of Malta’s harbors during WW2,  I came across the following Harrauer print that pinpoints the beginning of events that led to the death of Teseo Tesei.

Figure 1: Malta - Night of 26 July 1941 

Seeing this sketch and other articles, Harraeur described the Decima MAS personalities that he was well acquainted with during his professional career as naval architect. I was curious to contact him to hear some of these personal recollections for myself. Harraeur and I discovered that in the seventies and eighties we had followed parallel professional itineraries and on these we had continued for many years. So, precisely because they were parallel in nature, we would only get to meet at a distant point of infinity, that is, never.

But, as fate would have it, through my historical research of Malta, our trajectories diverged causing our paths to cross, and through our shared professional experiences we became fast friends.

Among Harrauer's various short stories published on AMB, ‘Submarine Nessie’ is undoubtedly my favourite. In fact, it moved me to pay tribute to my late friend and share unpublished events that unfolded when we were on those famous parallel destinies.

In Harrauer’s story, the protagonist in question, and source of his inspiration, is revealed in stages when two SSB-type St Bartholomew torpedoes are saved in ensuing confusion and moored in a cave on Italy’s Palmaria Island, and from this cave our character was to attack one of the American merchant ships that entered the nearby port of La Spezia to unload materials for the occupying forces.

The protagonist is an SSB pilot, and we are given to understand that in April 1945, with the end of the war approaching, he heads a Special Forces Decima MAS war mission set to be his final mission.

This character and protagonist is none other than Lieutenant Sergio Pucciarini, Naval Engineer and Underwater Transport Pilot of Special Forces unit Decima MAS of the Italian Navy. Indeed, as history reveals, Pucciarini was already in the water ready to carry out a covert mission when it was abruptly stopped in its tracks by a telephone message declaring the end of the war.

Figure 2: SSB Torpedo N °3 

Figure 3: Batholomew Torpedo, 1945.
Preserved in the historic hall of COMSUBIN

Following the end of the war, Pucciarini and his colleague Cattaneo were the only two, among the former Decima MAS, not to renounce its technical legacy by continuing the construction of underwater vehicles. There was always the maximum of collaboration between the two because, in addition to a long-standing friendship and deep respect, an unwritten pact between them had led them to choose different paths.

This happened in 1948 when both were questioned in complete secrecy by the Navy asking if they intended to participate in the recovery and commissioning of residual SSBs.

As you know, the Peace Treaty signed in Paris on 10 February 1947 provided for the following in Article 59: ‘…No Aircraft carriers, submarines or other submersible crafts, explosive boats, or assault boats, can be purchased or built etc...’, so, any activity by SSB-type assets was therefore prevented.

The Navy, however, wanted to retain its technical heritage at all costs and therefore instructed the Captain of Vascello Notari, a former SLC pilot twice awarded the silver medal for military valor in combat, to recover all available assets and reestablish training activities.

For this purpose, a secret base in Bacoli, Naples was designated for the storage of these assets and the training of new pilots. This base remained active until the late 1960s when it was relocated to Varignano, home of COMSUBIN.

Figure 4: Naval base in Bacoli,
Naples - 1950s 

Pucciarini declined the Navy's invitation while Cattaneo joined. Pucciarini was already projected with a vision towards commercial horizons with foreign navies and did not want umbilical cords that could be a commercial constraint. He was not best thrilled, therefore, that every now and then someone from the Navy would visit on official protocol. In Livorno in 1954, Sergio Pucciarini founded COSMOS, acronym of Costruzioni Motoscafi Sottomarini meaning Construction of Motorized Subsea Crafts.

In the photo below, published by the newspaper Candido, the Hippocampus in 1954 is piloted by Pucciarini himself and Roberto Serra, another former SLC pilot of Italy’s Decima MAS who later became a renowned doctor in the international field on lung diseases.

Figure 5: Pucciarini and Serra testing ‘Maiale’ underwater vehicles,
Port of Genova - 1954 

Professor Serra, now a spritely 94-year-old, recently published his book, "Orion 1943 - Last Mission of the Decima MAS Flotilla”, in which he deftly relives the historical moments that characterized his life, during 1943-1945, as an SLC-pilot, Siluro Lunga Corsa, long-range torpedoes, of the Decima MAS.

Figure 6: Pucciarini tests a CE2F-X60 in the port of Livorno - 1970s 

Pucciarini was someone who in the early 1980s I had the opportunity to know during the installation and testing phases of his latest mini submarines. At that time, Pucciarini also proposed a propulsion system aboard his mini submarines that would have greatly improve underwater autonomy.
Unfortunately, the usual lack of funds and various bureaucracies did not allow us to move forward in the project at that time and hence it remained at the feasibility phase.

He was so passionate about this new generation propulsion system project that had it not been for the setbacks obstructing its production, I am convinced he would not have sold his company to foreign entrepreneurs but would have instead collaborated with the Italian Navy.

So, it was by 1989 that Pucciarini sold COSMOS to a group of Chilean entrepreneurs who led it into a crisis that culminated in the migration of all personnel and activities into DRASS, with a new ownership and rebirth.

Up until the company’s sale in 1989, Pucciarini personally directed the building of various types of SSB-type underwater vehicles, such as the hippocampus and the most famous CE2F, as well as mini submarines with a displacement of up to 120 tons. COSMOS, until the early 1990s, was also a cover for the Cabi Cattaneo because it was understood, even by foreign navies, that COSMOS provided underwater vehicles to COMSUBIN.

Figure 7: COSMOS Class 120 mini-submarine design sketch - 1990s 

COSMOS products were sold to navies all over the world, and several underwater vehicles, such as the Hippocampus, were also successful in the civil field.

Figure 8: COSMOS Ce2F-X100. Latest generation electric submersible - 1990s 

Figure 9: COSMOS Class 120 mini-submarine for foreign navy - 1990s 

Following the takeover of COSMOS heritage, DRASS, with the advantage of being naturally open to the market and latest technologies, began a rapid modernization process - maintaining the traditional experience whilst upgrading its systems with tried and tested solutions utilized in the offshore oil and gas and commercial diving sectors.

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DRASS has successfully delivered the second OXYSHOT hyperbaric chamber to PHU THAI EQUIPMENT COMPANY, one of our clients in Vietnam. The first chamber was delivered in 2020.
Both of them have been completely assembled and tested at the DRASS Romania facility in Timisoara.

DRASS OXYSHOT is a single-lock hyperbaric chamber outfitted for two (2) persons: one patient on a bed plus one attendant on a foldable seat.
Built with an internal diameter of 1300 mm, OXYSHOT is designed to accommodate and medically treat scuba divers, permitting an immediate recompression on site at 18 msw in the event of a diving accident.
OXYSHOT is equipped with all items required for standard operations and a complete set of optional accessories.

The delivered chambers are equipped with Easy-Automation, the automatic software that guides the operator in the control of the chamber, specifically during depth (pressure) control. This software’s pre-set profiles enable the chamber to automatically follow the operator’s selected profile at the push of the ‘Start’ button, in one simple action.

Well done DRASS Romania from all at DRASS Group!

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DRASS GALEAZZI presents the commemorative Galeazzi diving knife, an exact replica of the internationally renowned original 1950s diver’s knife. No detail has been spared to faithfully reproduce this vintage item, coveted by commercial and naval divers of the era and highly sought after by collectors ever since.
Remaining true to the original design and production techniques of the time, the newly released Galeazzi knife is a work of mastery that is made entirely in Italy.

This multifunctional diving tool consists of one single piece of high-quality rust-resistant stainless steel for the central body and serrated blade. This must-have tool is imperative for diving operations such as the cutting of nets and underwater obstructions as well as serving as protection against underwater predators. Housing a hidden screw jaw within the shank, and a wheel to adjust size, this item doubles-up as a measuring device.
Its leather sheath and presentation box also come exactly as per the 1950s originals. As official licensor, DRASS exclusively brings this masterpiece to the market celebrating the design excellence and craftsmanship that DRASS GALEAZZI has stood for throughout its century-long history; and a tradition that embodies DRASS Group technology to this today.
Through DRASS partnership with Fox Knives, purveyors of excellence and manufacturers of quality products for civilian, military, rescue and special forces.

Buy now on DiveHive
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D-ONE has officially been tested and initialy approved by the Romanian Navy representative. Commanding Officer of the Hyperbaric Laboratory from the Navy Diving Centre, Commander Munteanu, together with his surface team,  engineers Emil Avram and Daniel Stoenciu,  took the oportunity to test the D-ONE as part of a serial FATs performed by DRASS in Livorno, Italy.
D-ONE will be integrated in the Hyperbaric Diving Simulator Project that is to be delivered to the Romanian Navy within the second quarter of 2022.

The originality of D-ONE helmet lies in its modularity that allows the same shell to be used in varying dive environments as necessary thanks to interchangeable pods: Standard Pod for air diving, Reclaim Pod for air diving in contaminated waters and optional Rebreather/Reclaim Pod, in compliance with the most stringent diving regulations.

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DRASS SPORT SCHOLARSHIP 2019/2020 and 2020/2021

Great success in the beautiful setting of the "PalaMacchia" in Livorno, for DRASS Sport Scholarship - Don Bosco Basketball, an appointment that has now become a traditional event in the local sport.
During the award ceremony, DRASS Sport Scholarship were delivered not only for the current season, 2020/21, but also for the previous one, 2019/20, which was not carried out last year due to the health emergency.
DRASS once again is proud to supports young students in their passions and their personal, social and educational growth.
To all the winners, congratulations from DRASS Group!!

Student awards were received as follows:
season 2019/2020
Under 13: Davide FUSCO
Under 15: Enrico DODOLI
Under 16: Federico GAMBA
Under 18: Lorenzo MANIACI

Season 2020/21
Under 13: Marco MADERA
Under 14: Ergi DELIALLISI
Under 15: Filippo SPINELLI
Under 16: Giacomo SANTINI
Under 18: Giacomo FIOCCHI

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DRASS e RINA per il sistema di soccorso sottomarini della MMI

Genova, 29 luglio 2021RINA, multinazionale di ispezione, certificazione, classificazione navale e consulenza ingegneristica, e DRASS, azienda italiana leader nel settore della subacquea e dell’iperbarismo ad alta tecnologia, hanno firmato un contratto per la classificazione dell’innovativo sistema di soccorso sottomarini per la Marina Militare Italiana, progettato da DRASS e SAIPEM, che sarà assegnato alla nuova nave per operazioni subacquee e di soccorso di sommergibili denominata SDO-SuRS (Special and Diving Operations – Submarine Rescue System).

Questo sistema integra un veicolo sottomarino a controllo remoto (ROV) con una capsula di salvataggio realizzata da DRASS e ha la funzione, in situazioni di emergenza, di riportare i sommergibilisti in superficie attraverso un habitat controllato e in totale sicurezza. ROV e capsula sono collegati meccanicamente ed elettronicamente, in modo da formare un modulo connesso alla nave tramite un cavo contenente linee elettriche e fibre ottiche per l'alimentazione, la comunicazione e il controllo.

Le attività del RINA copriranno tutti gli aspetti del sistema di soccorso sottomarini sia per quanto riguarda l’applicazione delle normative di classe per “Underwater Units” sia nel merito del processo di qualifica tecnologica laddove ci sia un elevato livello di innovazione come, ad esempio, l’interfaccia di accoppiamento tra il ROV e la capsula di salvataggio. Con l’acquisizione di questo importante contratto, RINA consolida il proprio rapporto con l’industria nazionale della difesa anche in un settore estremamente specialistico come quello della subacquea.

Giosuè Vezzuto, Executive Vice President Marine RINA, ha commentato: “Da tempo il RINA sta lavorando per estendere le proprie competenze nel mondo della subacquea contribuendo allo sviluppo di un polo nazionale dedicato a tale settore e partecipando, a livello internazionale, allo sviluppo del Naval Submarine Code. L’acquisizione del contratto di classificazione per il sistema di soccorso sottomarini è un tangibile segno della fiducia che DRASS e, indirettamente, la Marina Militare Italiana ripongono nelle capacità tecniche e ingegneristiche del RINA”.

Marco Bellomo, Direttore Tecnico DRASS, ha commentato: “La nuova tecnologia italiana al servizio del soccorso sommergibili è solo il primo tassello di un approccio modulare ed avanzato per massimizzare la nostra capacità di operare con la massima versatilità negli abissi. L’approccio ingegneristico utilizzato da DRASS renderà possibile estendere l’utilizzo di questa tecnologia ai settori industriali e dell’ecosostenibilità, con beneficio per ampi settori della nostra economia marittima e dell’export. Ringraziamo la Marina Militare Italiana per la visione strategica che ha reso possibile questo progetto”.

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Visita della Dottoressa Riccardi, Direttore del V Reparto Innovazione Tecnologica del Segretariato Generale della Difesa e Direzione Nazionale degli Armamenti

DRASS ringrazia per la gradita visita della Dottoressa Riccardi, Direttore del V Reparto Innovazione Tecnologica del Segretariato Generale della Difesa e Direzione Nazionale degli Armamenti, svoltasi nell’ambito dell’ attività di missione finalizzata alla firma dell’accordo con il NATO Science and Technology Organisation - Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (STO- CMRE) per la cooperazione nell’ambito della ricerca e sviluppo di tecnologie e sistemi con particolare riferimento all’ambito maritime, situato presso La Spezia.
Il V Reparto rappresenta il punto di riferimento a livello nazionale per la ricerca nell’ambito della sicurezza e difesa, che abbraccia dalle tecnologie aerospaziali alle tecnologie quantistiche, passando per i domini land & maritime compresa la subacquea, che attiene alla nostra azienda.
Nel corso della visita abbiamo potuto illustrate i programmi di ricerca tecnologica, compresi i risultati ottenuti ed in corso nei Piani di Ricerca Nazionale Militare che ci vedono coinvolti. Non è mancato un excursus sulla centenaria storia del gruppo, passando in rassegna eventi storici che a loro volta furono eccellenza dell’innovazione.
Tutto il personale DRASS ringrazia nuovamente la Dottoressa Riccardi e lo staff del V Reparto per averci onorato della loro presenza.

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Admiral Biaggi – Naval Academy Commander

DRASS was very pleased to welcome Admiral Flavio Biaggi, Commander of Italy’s Naval Academy located in Livorno. The visit that included a tour of Production facilities was yet another opportunity to introduce DRASS state-of-the-art technologies that are at the heart of navy projects. DRASS Group thanks Admiral Biaggi for his visit.

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Defence Commission

DRASS had the honour of receiving a delegation from the Defence Commission of the Italian Chamber of Deputies: MoP. Gianluca Rizzo, President of the IV Defense Commission, MoP. Luca Frusone, President of the Italian Delegation of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and MoP. Angelo Tofalo, Deputy of the Republic and former Under Secretary of Defense.
During this visit the commission were especially interested to tour the historical gallery of DRASS’ world-first innovations spanning a century, followed by a tour of the production facilities to see firsthand its latest cutting-edge technologies that are enhancing and redefining the future of subsea operations.
Below you can view some photos from the visit. Again, we wish to extend our thanks for such a notable visit enjoyed by one and all.

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