A helicopter belonging to the Italian Navy crash landed aboard Horizon class Destroyer Caio Duilio.

Local media have reported that the AW101 (the type is called Merlin in UK service) helicopter crashed during a training flight on November the 6th at 6.00 pm.

The helicopter was operating with the Horizon class destroyer ‘Caio Duilio’.

An image of the helicopter on the Caio Duilio. (Image Città Della Spezia).

Naval News has reported that all six helicopter crew members survived and no one has been seriously injured.

The Horizon class is a class of air-defence destroyers in service with the French Navy and the Italian Navy, locally known as ‘frigates’.

The programme started as the Common New Generation Frigate (CNGF), a multi-national collaboration to produce a new generation of air-defence frigates. In Italy the class is known as the Orizzonte class, which translates to ‘Horizon’ in French and English.

Italian warship Caio Duilio in 2011
Italian warship Caio Duilio

The UK then joined France and Italy in the Horizon-class frigate programme; however, differing national requirements, workshare arguments and delays led to the UK withdrawing in 1999 and starting its own national project, the Type 45 destroyer. This is why the Type 45 and Horizon class are visually similar.

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Damn lucky for the crew it remained on the deck.


Always bean surprised that Destroyers and Frigates don’t have a self deploying system to stop aircraft going over board in this sort of accident.


If the choice is between a burning/crashing helo on deck or it in the water with the crew still in it, then it goes over the side and the crew are on their own to get out.

200 people on a ship v 2-6 crew in a cab…the ship wins .

The RN flight deck crews will do everything to save the crew but if the situation jeopardises the ship the CO can make the call to do some hard turns and to get it over the side.


Been in a chopper crash before, let’s just say “it’s not fun”… Very glad the crew walked away from this.


andy reeves

dodgy beasties them helicopter things


Glad the crew are okay. All too often this situation ends with the helicopter going over the side.

Reminds me, did anyone see the story of the Spanish minesweeper that ran aground a few weeks back? No injuries and subsequently refloated, but it gave me a chuckle.


That was lucky glad everyone is safe, so now where’s the video

Levi Goldsteinberg

Lucky crew. Never had the impression Italians knew what they were doing – everything felt incredibly disorganised and more like everyone was just guessing what to do. Surprised this doesn’t happen more often


italian navy night flying? wow!!
is that a copy of Playboy in cockpit?


Strangely those Italians of the Agusta now own Westland and make helicopters…

The Merlin project was Cold War partnership between Agusta and Westland.


“The Italian Ministry of Defense confirmed the abnormal landing of the EH-101 (AW101) helicopter on the deck of the Caio Duilio destroyer, but declined to comment on the incident”

Abnormal landing! Thats understating the obvious!


Glad to see they all got out and it was good to see it did not burn. AW101/Merlin are a nightmare for firefighting on as are the new Wildcats . Lots of composites that break up into there component fibres in a fire and act like mini hypodermic needles passing through regular clothing and into the skin depositing the toxic fire products into your body. Fire teams need to wear impervious fire suits if there is an incident and the clean up if there is a fire can be a long and messy task. Having worked FF/DD flight decks for… Read more »


I thought that’s how all Italian helicopters land on ships.