Three Italian warships start swan song deployment

Three Italian Navy warships, with 85 years of service between them, embarked on their final “deployment” before they bow out of active navy service in a ceremony scheduled for July 16.

Aside from the task of training navy cadets, the deployment will be more of a tour of Tyrrhenian Sea port cities, allowing the public to visit the ships one last time before they decommission.

Taranto-based frigates ITS Euro and ITS Aviere will be visiting the ports of Salerno, Reggio Calabria and Crotone before returning home.

Corvette ITS Driade is set to visit Gaeta and Piombino before returning to her homeport in Augusta.

All three ships attended the Sea Future 2018 expo at the navy base in La Spezia prior to starting the tour.

The three ships are being decommissioned as part of the Italian Navy’s fleet renewal plan and will be replaced by the six recently-ordered multipurpose offshore patrol ships (PPA) and the FREMM frigates. The Italian defense ministry has ten FREMM frigates in the class on order, four anti-submarine variants and six general-purpose variants.

Starting the retirement process in 2015, the Italian Navy has so far decommissioned 11 vessels across four vessel types. These include former frigates Maestrale and Aliseo, corvettes Minerva, Sibilla, Danaide and Urania, offshore patrol vessels Bersagliere, Granatiere and Artigliere, and minesweepers Lerici and Sapri. The July 16 ceremony will bring the number of decommissioned vessels to 14.

Photo: ITS Aviere is one of the three ships to begin its final deployment. Photo: Italian Navy

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