LA SPEZIA, Italy --- Two years after its launch, and 14 months after its first sea trials, the destroyer Andrea Doria was handed over by its builder to its operator. In a ceremony at Fincantieri’s shipyard at Muggiano (La Spezia), the Italian Navy ensign was hoisted on the ship, marking the official hand-over to the Navy of the first of the two Orizzonte-class (Horizon-class) destroyers ordered by Italy.
The second ship, the Caio Duilio, was launched in October 2007.
Several months will pass before the Andrea Doria reaches its Full Operational Capability (FOC), during which the complex systems that provide its considerable air-defense and command and control capabilities will be tested at sea.
The Andrea Doria and its sister ship are part of the Horizon class, a joint development with France. These ships have cutting edge air-defense capabilities as well as considerable command capabilities, allowing them to take part in, or to take command of, international operations, according to a statement by Fincantieri.