Italian ship ITS Francesco Morosini on trip to Kuwait

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 27: The Italian Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) headed by Commander Giovanni Monno docked at the Shuwaikh Port on Friday on a friendly visit aimed at boosting the military ties between Kuwait and Italy.

The ITS Francesco Morosini docked at Shuwaikh Port. Inset: Italian Ambassador to Kuwait Carlo Baldocci and commanders of the ship.

Monno together with Italian Ambassador to Kuwait Carlo Baldocci and European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH) Force Commander Rear Admiral Mauro Panebianco welcomed members of the media on Sunday morning aboard the ship. Baldocci during the press conference cited the significance of the visit of ITS Francesco Morosini highlighting the strong bilateral relations between Kuwait and Italy including in the military field. “We will explore areas of mutual cooperation with our Kuwaiti counterpart,” stated Baldocci. The ITS Francesco Morosini is the second of the seven Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessels (in the basic light configuration), which are part of the renewal plan of the Italian Navy fl eet, approved by the Government and Parliament and started in May 2015, under the supervision of OCCAR (Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation). “The ship- characterized by the highly operational fl exibility- is designed with enhanced “dual use” features to perform both military tasks including patrol, logistic transport and surface combat) and civil protection activities.

The two aft modular zones may receive and handle missiontailored containers, such as logistic and healthcare modules, and may embark Special Forces or a command staff,” stated Monno. Entirely built in Italy, at Fincantieris Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano (La Spezia), the Patrol Vessel features a peculiar wave-piercing double blow, reminiscent of the rostrum of ancient Roman ships, an engineering solution optimizing the vessel’s performances in terms of hydrodynamic characteristics and maximum attainable speed, with a significant reduction in fuel consumption. She has a length of 143 meters (469 ft 2 in) LOA and 133 meters (436 ft 4 in) LPP. The vessel has a beam of 16.5 meters (54 ft 2 in), a draught of 10.5 meters (34 ft 5 in), and a depth of 5 meters (16 ft 5 in).

The vessel can achieve a maximum speed of 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph) using the gas turbine, 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) using the two main diesel engines, 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) using one main diesel engine, and 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) using the electric-diesel engine. It has a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). Other two iconic and innovative elements are the naval cockpit and the multiclutch reduction gearbox. The first one allows the integrated management of sailing and air and naval operations by only two operators. The second enables the integration and optimization of the different propulsion systems of the ship to reach a maximum speed of over 32 knots. The combination of new technologies and extensive use of modularity concept make this unit a cutting-edge engineering solution, a real Italian excellence.

Meanwhile, Panebianco briefed the media on the vital role of the ITS Francesco Morosini in the European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH) wherein Italy is a part of together with Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Portugal as well as Norway that joined in later. “The EMASoH’s mission will concretely provide enhanced maritime situation awareness and surveillance in the Gulf and Arabia Sea,” explained Panebianco. He added that the nine European contributing nations work together in improving the maritime situational awareness, contributing to the freedom of navigation as well as ensuring the free fl ow of commerce, reassuring the merchant shipping and positioning Europe as reliable security actor in the area. “It contributes to safeguard economical interests of EMASoH nation and extending it to all European nations with all the GCC countries. It has a deliberate de-escalatory posture and to document any illegal action against EMASoH shipping,” stressed Panebianco.

The officers of ITS Francesco Morosini took the media to a brief tour of the ship such as the fl ight deck, the bridge and the bow. On the fl ight deck was an NHIndustries NH90, a European medium-sized, twinengine, multi-role military helicopter. Navy Officer Hermes Ammirabile De Biasi briefed the media on NH90 and its features during their operations. The naval cockpit is the most innovative feature of this state-of-the-art naval unit, one of a kind. This integrated workstation requires only two operators, the pilot and co-pilot, to operate the machines, rudders, and the Combat Management System.

The new bridge is characterized by the iconic small control wheels (replacing the traditional rudder) and the multifunction displays, which enable the continuous monitoring of the ship’s ongoing operations. The motto of ITS Morosini “Ex undis signum victoriae” (From the waves an omen for includes the destiny of this Unit, linked to the sea and the glorious deeds of those who in the past have built on the sea the success and the prestige of their own Homeland. The sea is the element that joins distant historical realities across time and contra-distinguishes the human heritage of all seamen and the crew of this ship. Monno and the crew of ITS Francesco Morosini thanked the media for the visit as well as the government of Kuwait for its warm reception. ITS Francesco Morosini is set to leave the Shuwaikh port on Monday evening and sail off to Karachi, Pakistan.

By Michelle Fe Santiago

This news has been read 4781 times!

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