The Italian government has decided to send at least one frigate, the Virginio Fasan (F 591), to patrol the waters of the Red Sea, where the Houthi movement in Yemen attacks civilian merchant vessels with drones and missiles.
The Virginio Fasan, belonging to the Fremm class, will move from the Eastern Mediterranean, where it is currently navigating, through the Suez Canal. It may not be the only ship, and a second FREMM, currently in Taranto, may also depart. According to the Italian government, the operation is part of the European anti-piracy mission Atalanta, which has been active for fifteen years. The Fasan will take command of the European Union mission from early February.
The White House proposes to aggregate the ships of allies in the Combined Task Force 153, headquartered in Bahrain, to ensure the security of the Gulf of Aden and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Some EU governments, including Germany, would prefer to maintain command of the EU Atlanta operation and coordinate with the formation led by the USA.
The Fasan frigate is equipped with Aster 30 and 15 missiles, which can provide a protective umbrella within a radius of one hundred kilometers.