An Italian lady visits the Harbourfront

22 11 2010

I was looking through some old digital photographs and discovered three I had taken on the deck of the ITS San Giusto, an Italian Navy Landing Platform Dock (LPD) on a visit here in 2001. That was just prior to the unfortunate series of events that took place on the 11th of September 2001, which as a result of, made public access to visiting naval ships extremely difficult.

On the deck of the San Giusto.

The deck of the San Giusto, which had been berthed at the Harbourfront Centre (which is now VivoCity), features an island superstructure arranged at the starboard side resembles that of an aircraft carrier. The San Giusto is actually one of a series of three vessels built by the Italian Navy utilising the same platform. Two of which, the San Giorgio and San Marco have a longer flight deck – not so much for fixed wing aircraft to take off from, but to accommodate larger rotary wing aircraft, functioning almost as a helicopter carrier.

The deck of the San Giusto resembles that of an aircraft carrier.

Landing Platform Docks can be classified under the wider category of Amphibious Transport Dock Ships – of which the US Navy operates the largest fleet of. Although generally seen as a long range vehicle used for the projection of power, allowing large quantities of personnel and military logistics to be transported over large sea distances and delivered ashore utilising smaller landing craft some of which are discharged from a dock or dockwell in the aft which can be flooded by partially submerging the vessel through a stern door or ramp, and some of which are launched from davits arranged on the ship’s sides, these vessels are particularly useful in delivering aid such as in the case of East Timor and in the aftermath of the Indonesian Tsunami. The Republic of Singapore Navy operates four similar vessels, which at 140 metres in length are slightly larger in size than the Italian ships which measure 133 metres in length, with a more conventional superstructure arrangement and regularly deploys the vessels on humanitarian missions – such as the successful ones to Meulaboh, Aceh in the wake of the tsunami.

The forward mooring deck ... notice what is now Harbourfront Centre on the top left corner of the picture (then called the World Trade Centre) - and what was the Harbourfront Centre (with the semi-circular awning) which has now been transformed into VivoCity.




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