Military Wiki
Italian aircraft carrier Cavour (C 550)
Cavour (550).jpg
Career (Italy)
Name: Cavour
Builder: Fincantieri
Laid down: 17 July 2001
Launched: 20 July 2004
Commissioned: 27 March 2008
In service: 10 June 2009
Homeport: Taranto
Identification: Pennant number: 550
Motto: In arduis servare mentem
Status: Active
General characteristics
Type: Aircraft carrier
Displacement: 27,100 tonnes(full-load)[1][2]
Length: 244 m (801 ft)
Beam: 34 m (112 ft)
Draught: 8.7 m (29 ft)
Propulsion: 4 × General Electric/Avio LM2500+ gas turbines providing 88.000  hp
6 × diesel generators (13.200 KW)
Speed: 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)+
Range: 7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) at 16 kn (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Complement: 451 crew
203 embarked air wing
140 C4 staff
325 marines (standard)
Armament: 4 × 8 cell A-43 Sylver launchers carrying the MBDA Aster 15 surface to air missile
2 × Oto Melara 76/62 mm Super Rapido gun
3 × Oerlikon Contraves 25/80 mm AA gun
Aircraft carried:


30 max load.

Cavour (Italian language: portaerei Cavour ) is an Italian aircraft carrier that is the newest flagship and the largest unit of the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) which was launched in 2004. She is named after the Italian statesman and politician Camillo Benso, conte di Cavour.


Cavour maneuvering in the Gulf of Naples

Cavour (foreground) operating with Harry S. Truman (middle) and Charles de Gaulle (background).

The ship is designed to combine fixed wing V/STOL and helicopter air operations, command and control operations and the transport of military or civil personnel and heavy vehicles. The 134 m (440 ft), 2,800 m2 (30,000 sq ft) hangar space can double as a vehicle hold capable of holding up to 24 main battle tanks (typically Ariete) or many more lighter vehicles (50 Dardo IFV, 100+ Iveco LMV), and is fitted aft with access ramps rated to 70 tons, as well as two elevators rated up to 30 tons for aircraft. Cavour can also operate as landing platform helicopter, accommodating heavy transport helicopters (AgustaWestland UH-101A ASH) and 325 marines.

Cavour has a displacement of 27,900 tons but can reach more than 30,000 tons at full military capacity[citation needed], after improvements done in 2008.

Initially she was to be named after Luigi Einaudi, then Admiral Andrea Doria, before receiving her current title. Now that Cavour has become operational, it is the nuova unità maggiore (NUM, or "new main unit") of the Marina Militare, complementing Giuseppe Garibaldi, the other aircraft carrier in service. The ship was originally constructed in two sections (bow and stern) then later joined together.

The Italian Navy will replace its 16 Harriers with 15 (originally 22) Lockheed Martin FV-35Bs within the next few years.[3] The F-35 schedule is uncertain at the moment, but it is planned to modify Cavour to support the F-35 by 2016.[4] Cavour will have room for ten FV-35Bs in the hangar, and six more parked on deck.[3]


Cavour was laid down by Fincantieri on 17 July 2001, and she was launched from the Riva Trigoso shipyard in Sestri Levante, on 20 July 2004. Sea trials began in December 2006, and she was officially commissioned 27 March 2008. Full operational capability (FOC) was reached 10 June 2009.

Service history[]

On 19 January 2010, Cavour was dispatched to Haiti as part of Operation White Crane, Italy's operation for 2010 Haiti earthquake relief.[5] This was the first mission of the aircraft carrier, where it supplemented international efforts to provide relief for the victims of the January 2010 earthquake.[6]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Cavour Aircraft Carrier, Italy". Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  2. [1][dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nativi, Andy; Menon, Jay; Sweetman, Bill (5 April 2012). "Navies Worldwide Invest In Sea-Based Airpower". 
  4. ARG. "F-35B on Italian "Cavour" aircraft carrier". Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  5. "Photostory: Portaerei Cavour, gli aiuti per Haiti" (in Italian). ANSA. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  6. "La portaerei Cavour pronta a partire per Haiti" (in Italian). la Retrieved 1 January 2015. 

External links[]