The Italian Navy’s patrol vessel ITS Francesco Morosini is on a port call to Nha Rong Harbor in Ho Chi Minh City from May 9 to 12 during which it put a spotlight on the Italian defense industry’s newest technologies.
The ITS Francesco Morosini is a multipurpose offshore patrol vessel which was launched in 2020 and was delivered to the Italian Navy in 2022. According to a statement from the Italian Navy, the ITS Francesco Morosini features a peculiar wave-piercing double bow which optimizes the vessel's performance in terms of hydrodynamics and maximum attainable speed while significantly reducing its fuel consumption.
|The SH90 helicopter on board the ITS Francesco Morosini. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Other innovative elements in the ship’s design include its naval cockpit and the multi-clutch reduction gearbox.
The futuristic naval cockpit is an integrated workstation that requires only two operators to run the ship’s machinery, rudders, and combat management system.
To control the ship, the captain and co-captain use joysticks and small control wheels in place of a traditional rudder.
|The vessel is equipped with the OTO Melara 127/64 LW high-caliber Vulcano gun system. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
They can also monitor the ship's ongoing operations through multifunction displays.
The multi-clutch reduction gearbox enables the integration and optimization of the ship’s various propulsion systems which allow it to reach a maximum speed of over 32 knots. The ITS Francesco Morosini is 143 meters long and carries a 137-member crew.
It boasts high operational flexibility thanks to its 'dual use' features which enable it to perform both military tasks, including patrols, logistic transport, and surface combat, and civil protection activities.
|The light system of the ITS Francesco Morosini is capable of lighting up to 8km undersea. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
The two aft modular zones can receive and handle mission-tailored containers, such as logistic and healthcare modules, and may embark special forces or a command staff. The Morosini has three operating modes: Light with two machine guns in use, Light+ with the capability to defend against air attacks, Full with maximum defense in combat, as well as torpedo and undersea-attack defense. The vessel is equipped with one OTO Melara 127/64 LW high-caliber Vulcano gun system, one OTO Melara 76/62 medium-caliber gun, two remote-controlled KBA 25/80 machine gun systems, advanced sensors, and SH90/EH1011 helicopters.
|The view from the captain seat in the naval cockpit. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
At the beginning of this year, the Italian Navy sent the Morosini on a five-month naval campaign through the Indo-Pacific region, making stops in 14 countries, including Djibouti, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Oman, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, to promote naval diplomacy and maritime capacity building alongside freedom of navigation and respect for the international law of the sea. Speaking at the welcome ceremony for the vessel in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Antonio Alessandro emphasized the significance of the visit on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the two countries’ strategic partnership. "The port call of the Morosini aims to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the Italian and Vietnamese navies, as well as between the two countries," he said.
|A multifunction display shows the real-time updated maritime map in the cockpit. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
The Morosini arrived in Ho Chi Minh City under the command of Commander Giovanni Monno.
To mark the visit, a high-level delegation from the Italian Navy led by Rear Admiral Vincenzo Montanaro will be in Vietnam, paying courtesy calls to leaders of Vietnam's Navy Region 2 and 7 and leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee.
|Control boards and display at the captain seat in the naval cockpit. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
|Vietnamese and Italian naval forces and officials of the Italian Embassy and Consulate General in Vietnam at the welcome ceremony for the vessel in Ho Chi Minh City, April 9, 2023. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre News