Passing through Gallions Reach this morning on her way to Canary Wharf was the Italian Navy Destroyer Luigi Durand de la Penne.
The ship is on a multi-port training cruise with cadets from the Italian Naval Academy – a similar visit took place last year but using the sailing ship Amerigo Vespucci which wasn’t available for this year’s cruise due to being under repair. Click here for some pictures.
The Luigi Durand de la Penne is a guided missile destroyer and one of only two in the class. She can carry two helicopters but as she passed Gallions Point none were visible – however, after arriving in West India Dock one AB212 has been noted on the flight deck.
Update: 8th August:
Confirmed that at least one Italian Navy AB212 ASW helicopter is on board – serial number MM80957 coded ‘7-26’,
Addendum: ITS Luigi Durand de la Penne has now left London and here are a few shots of her transiting through the Thames Barrier.
A few more pictures of the visit can be seen here.
She was accompanied up river by two Svitzer tugs – Brunel and Laceby – which will be used to help her navigate the entrance to West India Dock.
The Met Police marine unit were also in attendance with Gabriel Franks II (MP3)
More information about the ship can be found on Wikipedia here.