The Italian Navy ship Francesco Morosini arrived in Manila on Saturday, signaling the start of improved military cooperation between Italy and the Philippines.
Italian Ambassador to the Philippines Marco Clemente said in a news conference aboard the Morosini that the 144-meter multipurpose patrol vessel would participate in a joint exercise with the Philippine military during its five-day port call in Manila. "The exercise in the port of Manila will open a lot of opportunities. This presence of the ship Morosini can make a difference for the future of our bilateral relations," Clemente said."We are working hard to finalize a memorandum that, when agreed upon after receiving political authorization, will make so much easier our industrial relationships," he added. Clemente described the Morosini as the "newest vessel of the Italian navy entirely built by Italy in Italy." It was delivered in October 2022, two years after it was commissioned in November 2020.
Data provided by the Italian Embassy in Manila said the 144-meter vessel was designed with a peculiar wave-piercing double bow that will optimize performance in terms of hydrodynamics and maximum attainable speed, with a significant reduction in fuel consumption. The Morosini can perform both military tasks and civil protection activities, including patrol, logistic transport, surface combat, first aid delivery, fresh water and electricity provision, vertical lift transportation, wideband communications, and embarked laboratories. The ship's commanding officer, Giovanni Monno, said the Morisini has more than 30 different configurations and can provide fresh water for 6,000 people.
Clemente said the vessel is embarking on a five-month naval campaign in the Indo-Pacific to send a clear signal that Italy wants to play a role in the region.
"Italy is very much interested in the stability of the region. The Indo-Pacific region is crucial not only for the obvious strategic reason that this area is where the main bulk of the trade goes through. Stability in the region also means free trade and stability of the economic situation," he added. Clemente said another Italian Navy vessel — the Amerigo Vespucci — is due to sail for the Indo-Pacific in 2024. "For next year, we are also planning the deployment of the ship in the area to participate in the training activities with the regional partners," he added.
Source: Manila Times, Official ICCPI Media Partner, July 9, 2023