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An Italian corvette joins Atalanta

(B2) The Italian corvette ITS Comandante Bettica (P 492) hoisted the European flag and headed towards the EUNAVFOR Atalanta operation, after participating in the international exhibition IDEX 2009 (International Defense Exhibition) in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). ), made a technical stop in Salalah, in the Sultanate of Oman and participated in joint maneuvers with the Oman Navy. It should thus join the European force, currently made up of several ships from 5 member states: Greece, Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom). Duration of mission: month of March. This will make it possible to join with the relief workers.

This corvette is one of the most recent ships (along with the FREMM frigates) of the Italian Navy (2003). Equipped with approximately 70 crew members, it is the typical instrument of control (or protection) of the merchant navy as well as sea rescue. According to the Italian Navy, the unit is designed for operational activity “ medium distance” lasting approximately 10 consecutive days without restocking. It is armed with an Oto-Breda 76/62 cannon and two Oerlikon KBA 25/80 machine guns which “guarantees rapidity and precision of fire”. It can take on board an NH90 or Bell Agusta AB212 type helicopter.

She is placed under the command of the captaine of frigate Lorenzo Agnarelli. Born in Genoa on November 9, 1968, Agnarelli studied at the Naval Academy of Livorno from 1987 to 1991. He served on the Nave Ardito (1992-1996), then on the Corvette Minerva (1997-1999). After attending the naval command school, he took command of the auxiliary water supply vessel Tirso (1998-1999), used for resupplying small islands, then the coastal surveillance patrol boats Orione and Sirio interspersed with a period as second officer on the corvette Urania, then on the frigate Zeffiro. He is married and has two children.

For the record: Ener Bettica – who gave his name to the corvette – was an Italian navy commander killed in combat off the coast of Sardinia in 1942… by the Royal Navy, after fierce fighting, the legend says.

(photo: Italian Navy)


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).