Aircraft carrier

Classe Garibaldi

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Aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi – built at the Monfalcone shipyards – is able to exercise the function of command and control of naval and aero-naval forces, and, in particular, to perform key operational tasks assigned to the Italian Navy, thanks to its sizeable embarked air wing. This extremely versatile unit – which has a moderate displacement, and yet carries powerful weapon systems, including anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles – is equipped with state-of-the-art active and passive self-defence systems.

According to mission requirements, the embarked air wing may consist of:

  • EH101, SH90A, AB212 helicopters;
  • STOVL AV-8B Plus Harrier II tactical aircraft

From February 18 to April 5, 1994 - Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, to support amphibious operations of the Italian contingent and, again in Somalia, in 1995 in support of the UN contingent as part of the UNOSOM Task Force.

From April 26 to June 17, 1999 - in the Adriatic Sea, to provide operational and logistics support within the DINAK Operation in Yugoslavia.

From November 2001 to March 2002 - Aircraft carrier and Command Headquarters for Operation Enduring Freedom; sailing about 20,000 miles in 87 days non-stops. During this period, the unit performed sea control, interception and anti-access activities, as well as flight deck for the AV-8B aircraft which, together with other aircraft of the coalition, carried out support and anti-access missions in Afghanistan.

From August 29 to October 19 2006 - was readily deployed in Lebanon as commanding headquarters, within Operation Mimosa first, and Operation Leonte later. During this time, the aircraft onboard patrolled merchant convoys on their way to Lebanon, while the unit focused on the amphibious disembarkation in south Lebanon of a contingent strong of about 1,000 soldiers from Reggimento San Marco, the Army Amphibious Corps and Special Forces.

In March 2011, during the Lebanon crisis, ITS Garibaldi participated in Operation Odyssey Dawn as support ship and, from March 26 to July 26, was engaged in Unified Protector Operation, in part as Command Headquarters. As per 1970 and 1973 UN Security Council resolutions, the engagement of the coalition is aimed at controlling over the embargo of sea smuggling of weapons, and the implementation of the Libyan No-Fly Zone. On this occasion too, ITS Garibaldi proved her operational and logistic skills, covering 20,000 miles in 78 straight days.

From november 2015 to april 2017 the Unit was preminently deployed as Flagship of the EU Operation SOPHIA, whose mission is to disrupt the criminal model of human trafficking networks, preventing sea tragedies in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

Within the tasks of power projection on the sea and from the sea, ITS Garibaldi also acts as a Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA), namely a ship employing assault helicopters for troops and materials transportation during amphibious operations .