KADEX 2024 Banner 728x90The aircraft carrier Cavour, the Italian Navy’s flagship, and the frigate Alpino arrived in Darwin, Australia, on 9 July and stay until 5 August to participate in “Pitch Black 2024” air exercise, hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). This large-scale exercise will include 20 other nations, including United States, United Kingdom, France and countries from the Indo-Pacific region.

During the stopover, ITS Cavour, at Kuru Wharf, HMAAS Coonawarra naval base, will be open to visit on Sunday 21 July from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

The ships, departed from Taranto on 1 June, part of Italian Carrier Strike Group and are engaged in a strategic deployment in the Indo-Pacific region, crucial for increasing interoperability and cooperation with allied and partners.

Cavour (CVH 550) is an Italian STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft carrier, built by Fincantieri, and entered in service for the Italian Navy in 2009. It is the flagship of the Commander in Chief of the Naval Fleet (CINCNAV) from which it depends organically: it is therefore the flagship of the Italian Navy.

The Cavour is an entirely Italian project, whose construction took into account the need for “dual use.” On one hand, the Unit plays a central role in projection missions, on and from the sea, in various organisational contexts, both joint and multinational: the ship meets the need to have a naval instrument with high Command and Control capabilities, to be used for the management of any type of operation necessary for global security and the protection of the country’s interests in the world.

On the other hand, the ability to bring, with timeliness and great logistical autonomy, a potential for intervention in areas where an environmental disaster has occurred or where humanitarian aid is required, with a push for versatility and flexibility. In this context, for example, the humanitarian mission “White Crane” for the benefit of the population of Haiti following the devastating earthquake of January 2010 was framed. The intervention provided an eloquent example of the capabilities of the Cavour: with the modern hospital area and high characteristics of logistical autonomy, mobility, and flexibility, important results were achieved in terms of assistance and benefits for the Haitian population.

Considering the described characteristics, ITS Cavour can be considered as four ships in one: it is indeed capable of fully fulfilling the roles of aircraft carrier, logistic and amphibious platform, command and control unit, and hospital ship.

Alpino (F 594) is the fifth unit of the Italian-French FREMM (European Multi Mission Frigate) program, of the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) type, delivered to the Navy in 2016. Its detection capabilities and armament make it suitable for the following tasks:

  • Surveillance and interdiction of illegal trafficking, prevention, and control of illegal immigration;
  • Specific Sea Control activities and, in particular, protection of Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) and Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO);
  • Countering the threat of hostile vessels with particular regard to anti-submarine warfare;
  • Humanitarian assistance and support in case of natural disasters.

Regarding the specific ASW function, in addition to the hull sonar systems common to the GP (General Purpose) version of the FREMM Class, the Unit is equipped with a variable depth sonar (VDS), active and low frequency, which allows the detection of underwater threats at long distances.

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