Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi (551)


Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi (551)

"Giuseppe Garibaldi" (551) is an Italian aircraft carrier, the current flagship of the Marina Militare Italiana, the Italian Navy. She is named after the Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi.

It was built by Fincantieri (Italcantieri) at the Monfalcone shipyards near Gorizia. She was laid down in March 1981, launched in 1983 and was commissioned on September 30, 1985. "Garibaldi" is classed as a CVS–ASW or Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft Carrier and is based in Taranto.

The ship is powered by four Fiat COGAG gas turbines built under license from GE, offering a sustained power of 81,000 hp (60 MW). Driving two shafts the ship has a maximum speed of 30 knots (56km/h) and can travel for 7,000 nautical miles (13,000km) at around 20 knots (37km/h).

The ship was equipped with four Otomat Mk2 long range surface to surface missile system installed at the stern of the ship (removed in 2003 to improve flight deck and satellite communications) and two ILAS 3 triple tube torpedo launchers. Defences are provided by two eight-cell SAM launchers firing the SARH "Aspide" missile, additional defences are offered by three Oto Melara Twin 40L70 DARDO CIWS.

The ship also has many Counter-measures include two SCLAR twenty-barrel launchers for chaff, decoy, flares, or jammers, the SLQ-25 Nixie and SLAT anti-torpedo systems and ECM systems.

Her air-arm consists of either a maximum sixteen AV-8B Harrier IIs, or eighteen Agusta helicopters or a mix of helicopters and fighters. The flight-deck is the characteristic off-axis design with 4 degrees ski-jump for STOL aircraft, it is 174 m long and 30,4 m wide.

The WWII peace treaty banned Italy from having an aircraft carrier, and therefore at the time of her launch she did not receive her Harriers and classed as "Incrociatore portaeromobili" (Italian for "Aircraft carrying cruiser"). Until 1988 only Italian helicopters landed on her deck, as well as RAF Harriers during NATO joint maneuvers. The ban was eventually lifted and in 1989 she obtained her own Harriers.

"Garibaldi" will be shortly joined as the flagship of the Italian navy by the new and larger carrier "Cavour".

Other ships with the same name

"Giuseppe Garibaldi" (551) is the fourth ship of the Italian Navy named after the 19th century Italian General Giuseppe Garibaldi. Previous ships with the same name are:
* a frigate (1861)
* an armoured cruiser (1901)
* a light cruiser (1936), extensively re-built in 1961 (see "missile cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi"')

All the five ships included the missile cruiser, together with an image of Garibaldi, are depicted in the crest.

External links

* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/garibaldi.htm GlobalSecurity.org]
* [http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/garibaldi/ Naval-Technology.com]


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