Italian Anti-Air Warfare Destroyer Shoots Down Houthi Drone In Red Sea

Nave Duilio
Nave Duilio (Image credit: Marina Militare)

Nave Duilio, a destroyer of the Marina Militare, shot down a drone for self-defense.

On Mar. 2, 2024, Nave Duilio, an Anti-Air Warfare destroyer of the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) shot down a drone in the Red Sea. According to the Italian Ministry of Defense, the drone, similar to those already used in previous attacks by the Houthi rebels, was about 6 kilometers from the Italian warship, flying towards it.

It was shot down using one of the ship’s three OTO 76mm cannons.

Nave Duilio has been operating in the Red Sea to guarantee the freedom of navigation and the security of trade routes, to safeguard international law and national interests.

The Minister underlined that: “the terrorist attacks by the Houthis are a serious violation of international law and an attack on the safety of maritime traffic on which our economy depends. These attacks are part of a hybrid war, which uses every possibility, not only military, to harm some countries and benefit others.”

Nave Duilio

The “Caio Duilio” is a an Anti-Air Warfare destroyer belonging to the Horizon Common New Generation Frigate (CNGF) programme.

The ship is named after Gaius Duilius  a Roman politician and admiral involved in the First Punic War, who lived in the 3rd century BC and gave the Ancient Rome the dominion of the sea.

It was taken on charge by the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) on Apr. 3, 2009 and we went aboard Nave Duilio in 2011, when the ship received its battle flag. It is equipped with a Sylver vertical launcher for 48 Aster 15 and 30 missiles, autonomous Command and Control capabilities, LRR S-1850 M long range radar, and PAAMS (Principal Anti Air Missile System) with an EMPAR multi-function radar. The 6 DCNS Vertical Launch System Sylver A50 modules accommodate 48 cells for MBDA short range Aster 15 or medium range Aster 30 missiles

It is also equipped with three  Oto Melara 76/62 mm Davide/Strales Super-Rapid guns (ILDS, updated to Strales version since 2017) and two Oto Melara 25/80 with Oerlikon KBA 25mm guns.

Although it has significant AAW capabilities, Nave Duilio is a multirole ship, highly capable in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.