The 93 meters, 3,180 t NATO ship NRV ALLIANCE was designed in the mid 80’s as a quiet acoustic research platform. It is capable of operating in all oceans strategically important to NATO nations. ALLIANCE enables scientists and engineers from the Centre and partner nations to conduct a wide range of experiments. The ship is equipped with modern scientific instruments, a sophisticated navigation system, and its deck comprises of a vast array of winches (some fitted and some removable), heavy cranes, a lateral frame and a stern U-frame (including a large 4 drum main tow winch for large arrays). This variety of deck equipment allows a large variety of launch and recovery of scientific and engineering sensors, oceanographic instruments, autonomous vehicles and tethered devices. ALLIANCE can accommodate a variety of containerized payloads as well.
ALLIANCE has a crew of 44 Italian naval personnel and can accommodate in comfortable single and double cabins up to 25 scientists.
A key feature of ALLIANCE is its main laboratory where scientist have at their disposal about 150 square meters of space to work. Additionally, the ship was designed with quiet operation in mind and as such, can be operated under various engineering configuration (eight noise states in total including propulsion using batteries) to reduce and eliminate radiated noise throughout the ship.
The ship includes 400 square meters of open deck working areas, 500 square meters of scientific storage spaces, and 225 square meters of additional scientific spaces (such as internal oceanographic winch, wet lab, tactical coordinator and conference rooms).