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Marina Militare

''"Italian Navy" redirects here. For other uses, see Italian Navy (disambiguation)''

''Marina Militare'' (the ''Italian Navy'') is one of the four branches of the military forces of Italy. It was formed in 1946, as the Navy of the Italian Republic, from what remained of the ''Regia Marina'' and now is considered among the five major navies in the world.


The ensign of the ''Marina Militare'' is the Italian tricolour with ''Marina Militare'' emblem on the white third. The emblem is composed by a shield, whose four parts are reference to Medieval Italian Thalassocracies, or 'Maritime Republics' (Italian: ''Repubbliche Marinare''):
* 1st quarter: on red, a golden winged lion wielding a sword (Republic of Venice);
* 2nd quarter: on white field, red cross (Republic of Genoa);
* 3rd quarter: on blue field, white cross (Republic of Amalfi);
* 4th quarter: on red field, white cross (Republic of Pisa).
The shield has a golden crown, that distinguish military vessels from merchant: the crown, "Corona rostrata", was proposed in 1939 by Admiral Domenico Cavagnari to the Government, as an acknowledge of the Italian Navy's origin since the Roman times. In the proposal, Adm. Cavagnari wrote that "in order to recall the common origin [of the Navy] from the Roman sailorship, the Insignia will be surmounted by the towered Crown with rostrums, the emblem of honour and valour the Roman Senate awarded to the leaders of naval victories, conquerors of lands and cities across the seas". Another difference with the merchant vessels flag is that the lion symbolizing the Republic of Venice has the book in its paw closed (the Mark's Gospel, that on the Republic Insignia is open on the words "Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus", Peace to you Mark, my Evangelist) and it is wielding a sword. These were also the differences between the War and Peace flags of the Republic.


The Marina Militare Italiana was born as Regia Marina on 17 March 1861, after the proclamation of the Italian Kingdom, and assumed the present name after the Italian monarchy was abolished by a popular referendum held on 2 June 1946.

After World War II

Aircraft Carrier Aquila, damaged by Allies bombing in 1943.

At the end of its five years involvement in World War II, Italy was a devastated nation. After the end of hostilities the ''Regia Marina'', which at the beginning of the war was the fourth largest navy in the world with a mix of modernised and new battleships, started a long and complex rebuilding process. The important combat contributions of the Italian naval forces after the signing of the armistice with the Allies on 8 September 1943 and the subsequent cooperation agreement on 23 September 1943 left the Regia Marina in a poor condition, with much of its infrastructure and bases unusable and its ports mined and blocked by sunken ships. However, a large number of its naval units had survived the war, albeit in a low efficiency state, which was due to the conflict and the age of many vessels. The vessels that remained were:
* 2 aircraft carriers
* 5 battleships
* 9 cruisers
* 11 destroyers
* 22 frigates
* 19 corvettes
* 44 fast coastal patrol units
* 50 minesweepers
* 16 amphibious operations vessels
* 2 school ships
* 1 support ship and plane transport
* various submarine units

The peace Treaty

The Peace Treaty signed on February 10, 1947 in Paris was onerous for Regia Marina. Apart from territorial and material losses, also the following restrictions were imposed:

* A ban to own, to build or to experiment with atomic weapons, self-propulsion projectiles or relative launchers, etc…
* A ban to own Battleships, Aircraft carriers, Submarines and Amphibious Assault units.
* A ban to operate military installations on the islands of Pantelleria, Pianosa and on the archipelago of Pelagie Islands.

The treaty also ordered Italy to put the following ships at the disposals of the victorious nations United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, Greece, Yugoslavia and Albania as war compensation:

* 3 Battleships: ''Giulio Cesare'', ''Italia'', ''Vittorio Veneto'';
* 5 Cruisers: ''Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta'', ''Attilio Regolo'', ''Scipione Africano'', ''Eugenio di Savoia'' and ''Eritrea'';
* 7 Destroyers, 5 of the "''Soldati''" class and ''Augusto Riboty'' and ''Alfredo Oriani'';
* 6 Minesweepers: like ''Aliseo'' and ''Fortunale'';
* 8 Submarines: 3 of the "''Acciaio''" class;
* 1 Sailing School ship: ''Cristoforo Colombo''.

The total displacement, battleships excluded, of the future navy was not allowed to be greater than 67,500 tons, while the staff was capped at 25,000 men.

The entry into NATO

The great changes in the international political situation convinced Great Britain and the United States to cease the process of handing in of the navy's large ships, which had been dismantled in La Spezia between 1948 and 1955, including the flagship aircraft carrier "''Aquila''". The Soviet Union, instead, claimed the handing in of the warship "''Giulio Cesare''" and much of units to her attributed. The cruisers "''Attilio Regolo''" and "''Scipione Africano''" became the French "''Chateaurenault''" and "''Guichen''", while the "''Eugenio di Savoia''" became the Greek "''Helli''". So only a small part of the fleet, that which was not transferred or demolished, could be reinserted in the Marina.

As US attention turned to the Soviets and the Mediterranean Sea it transformed Italian seas in one of the main places of confrontation between the two superpowers, contributing to the re-emergence of Italy’s importance and of its ports thanks to her strategic geographical position.

With the new elections in 1946, the Kingdom of Italy became the Italian Republic, and the Regia Marina (‘’”Royal Navy”’’) took on the name of ''Marina Militare Italiana''. In full Marshall Plan and in a context where Europe was going to be divided in two set against blocks, Italy began to entertain talks with the United States aimed to obtain adequate safety guarantee. The government in Washington, greatly interested to keep its own installations on the peninsula, loosened peace Treaty bonds by inserting the Italian nation into the Mutual Defense Assistance Programme (MDAP).

On 4 April 1949, Italy joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), corroborating her impossibility to contributing actively in the organization: that lead to the definitive repeal of the peace Treaty bonds by the end of 1951, with the consent of all of Western nations.

Within NATO, the Marina Militare was assigned the control of the Adriatic Sea and Strait of Otranto, as well as the defence of the naval routes through the Tyrrhenian Sea. To ensure these tasks was carried out a "''Studio sul potenziamento della Marina italiana in relazione al Patto Atlantico''" (Study about the Development of the Italian navy with reference to the Atlantic Pact) was undertaken, which researched the structures and the methods for the development of the Marina Militare.

This solution required a great economic effort aimed at the rebuilding and transformation of the fleet; it also required aid from the United States to reach the necessary standard. However the program carried on slowly both due to the economic pressures on Italy due to the post-war period rebuilding process and by the obstacles placed by some of European governments who were concerned at seeing an Italian Navy capable of rivalling the Western naval forces.

Present Day Marina Militare

Today's Marina Militare is a modern navy with ships of every type, such as:
* 2 aircraft carriers,
* 4 destroyers
* 12 frigates
* 6 submarines
* 8 corvettes
* 14 patrol boat
* 3 Landing Platform Docks
* 15 auxiliares

The fleet is in continuous evolution; the Marina Militare is now equipping herself with a bigger aircraft carrier (the ''Cavour''), new destroyers, submarines and multipurpose frigates. In modern times, the Marina Militare, being a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), has taken part in many coalition peacekeeping operations. The "Marina Militare" maintains the San Marco Regiment who serve as the marines of the Italian navy.Italian Navy also owns Polaris A3 in La Spezia arsenal.

Structure and Organization


''Marina Militare'' is divided into six corps:

* ''Stato Maggiore'' (line officers)
* ''Genio Navale'' (engineering)
* ''Armi Navali'' (weapons and combat systems)
* ''Commissariato Militare Marittimo'' (administration)
* ''Corpo Sanitario'' (medical service)
* ''Capitanerie di porto'' (coast guard)


* ''Capo di Stato Maggiore della Marina'' (Navy Chief of Staff)- Ammiraglio di Squadra Paolo La Rosa
* ''Sottocapo di Stato Maggiore della Marina'' (Navy Deputy Chief of Staff)- Ammiraglio di Squadra Luigi Binelli Mantelli

* Fleet Command - ''Comandante in Capo della Squadra Navale'' (CINCNAV) Ammiraglio di Squadra Giuseppe Lertora
** ''Comando Forze d'Altura'' COMFORAL (based in Taranto): ships Garibaldi, Espero, Etna, Durand de la Penne, Mimbelli, San Giorgio, San Marco, San Giusto, Elettra
*** COMSQUAFR 1 (based in Taranto): ships Aliseo, Euro, Zefiro, Espero, Artigliere, Bersagliere, Granatiere, Aviere, Stromboli
*** COMSQUAFR 2 (based in La Spezia): ships Maestrale, Grecale, Libeccio, Scirocco, Vesuvio
** ''Comando delle Forze da Pattugliamento per la Sorveglianza e la Difesa Costiera'' COMFORPAT (based in Augusta):
*** COMSQUACORV: ships Minerva, Urania, Danaide, Sfinge, Chimera, Driade, Fenice, Sibilla
*** COMSQUAPAT 1: ships Cassiopea, Libra, Spica, Vega
*** COMSQUAPAT 2: ships Cigala Fulgosi, Borsini, Foscari, Bettica, Sirio, Orione
** ''Comando delle Forze Anfibie'' COMFORSBARC (based in Brindisi):
*** San Marco Regiment
*** Logistics and Training Regiment Carlotto
*** Gruppo Mezzi da Sbarco
** ''Comando Forze Subacquee'' COMFORSUB (based in Taranto):
*** COMGRUPSOM: submarines Da Vinci, Pelosi, Prini, Longobardo, Gazzana, Todaro, Scirè
** ''Centro di Addestramento Aeronavale'' MARICENTADD
** ''Comando Forze Aeree'' COMFORAER (based in Santa Rosa)
** ''Centro per le Telecomunicazioni e l'Informatica'' MARITELE (based in Roma)
** ''Comando delle Forze di Contromisure Mine'' COMFORDRAG (based in La Spezia):
*** COMSQUADRAG 53: ships Numana, Rimini, Sapri, Termoli, Viareggio, Vieste
*** COMSQUADRAG 54: ships Alghero, Chioggia, Crotone, Gaeta, Lerici, Milazzo
** ''Quartier Generale Marina'' QUARTGENMARINA (based in Roma)

For the Italian Navy Rank Structure see: Italian Navy ranks.


Fleet composition

Aircraft carriers (2)
*''Cavour'' (550)
*''Giuseppe Garibaldi'' (551)

Destroyers (4)
**''Andrea Doria'' (D 553)
**''Caio Duilio'' (D 554)
*''Durand de la Penne'' class
**''Luigi Durand de la Penne'' (D 560) (formerly ''Animoso'')
**''Francesco Mimbelli'' (D 561) (formerly ''Ardimentoso'')

Amphibious transport dock (3)
*''San Giorgio'' class
**''San Giorgio'' (L 9892)
**''San Marco'' (L 9893)
**''San Giusto'' (L 9894)

Frigates (12)
*''Maestrale'' class
**''Maestrale'' (F 570)
**''Grecale'' (F 571)
**''Libeccio'' (F 572)
**''Scirocco'' (F 573)
**''Aliseo'' (F 574)
**''Euro'' (F 575)
**''Espero'' (F 576)
**''Zeffiro'' (F 577)

*''Artigliere'' class
**''Artigliere'' (F 582)
**''Aviere'' (F 583)
**''Bersagliere'' (F 584)
**''Granatiere'' (F 585)

*FREMM Class
** (10 frigate under construction)
**''Carlo Bergamini'' (F 586)
**''Carlo Margottini'' (F 587)

Corvettes (8)
*''Minerva'' class
**''Minerva'' (F 551)
**''Danaide'' (F 553)
**''Urania'' (F 552)
**''Sfinge'' (F 554)
**''Driade'' (F 555)
**''Chimera'' (F 556)
**''Fenice'' (F 557)
**''Sibilla'' (F 558)

OPV & Patrol boats and corvettes (14)
*''Cassiopea'' class
**''Cassiopea'' (P 401)
**''Libra'' (P 402)
**''Spica'' (P 403)
**''Vega'' (P 404)

*''Esploratore'' class
**''Esploratore'' (P 405)
**''Sentinella'' (P 406)
**''Vedetta'' (P 407)
**''Staffetta'' (P 408)

*''Cassiopea 2'' class
**''Sirio'' (P 409)
**''Orione'' (P 410)

*''Comandanti'' class
**''Comandante Cigala Fulgosi'' (P 490)
**''Comandante Borsini'' (P 491)
**''Comandante Bettica'' (P 492)
**''Comandante Foscari'' (P 493)

Mine Counter-Measure Vessels (17)
*''Lerici'' class - 1st series
**''Lerici'' (M 5550)
**''Sapri'' (M 5551)
**''Milazzo'' (M 5552)
**''Vieste'' (M 5553)
*''Lerici'' class – 2nd series
**''Gaeta'' (M 5554)
**''Termoli'' (M 5555)
**''Alghero'' (M 5556)
**''Numana'' (M 5557)
**''Crotone'' (M 5558)
**''Viareggio'' (M 5559)
**''Chioggia'' (M 5560)
**''Rimini'' (M 5561)

*''Ponza'' class
**''Ponza'' (A 5364)
**''Levanzo'' (A 5366)
**''Tavolata'' (A 5367)
**''Palmaria'' (A 5368)
**''Procida'' (A 5383)

Submarines (6)
*''Todaro'' class
**''Salvatore Todaro'' (S 526)
**''Sciré'' (S 527)
*''Sauro IV'' class
**''Primo Longobardo'' (S 524)
**''Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia'' (S 525)
*''Sauro III'' class
**''Salvatore Pelosi'' (S 522)
**''Giuliano Prini'' (S 523)
** another three in reserve

Auxiliaries (3)
*Squadron Replenishment Ships
**''Etna'' (A 5326)
**''Stromboli'' (A 5327)
**''Vesuvio'' (A 5329)

*Gasoline Tankers (4)
**''Panarea'' (A 5370)
**''Linosa'' (A 5371)
**''Favignana'' (A 5372)
**''Salina'' (A 5373)

*Water Transports (2)
**''Ticino'' (A 5376)
**''Tirso'' (A 5377)

*Vehicle Transport Ships (6)
**''Gorgona'' (A 5347)
**''Tremiti'' (A 5348)
**''Caprera'' (A 5349)
**''Pantelleria'' (A 5351)
**''Lipari'' (A 5352)
**''Capri'' (A 5353)

*Weapons Test Ships (3)
**''Carabiniere'' (F 581) (ex Frigate)
**''Raffaele Rossetti'' (A 5315)
**''Vincenzo Martellotta'' (A 5320)

Other (2)
*''Anteo'' (A 5309): Submarine Rescue and Salvage Ship
*''Elettra'' (A 5340): Electronic Warfare Ship

*Training ships (4)
**''Palinuro'' (A 5311)
**''Amerigo Vespucci'' (A 5312)
**''Stella Polare'' (A 5313)
**''Corsaro II'' (A 5316)

Decommissioned Ships

*''Cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi'' (1957-1971): 1 vessel
*''Impetuoso class destroyers'' (1957-1983): 2 vessels
*''Andrea Doria class cruisers'' (1964-1991): 2 vessels
*''Impavido class destroyers'' (1963-1992): 2 vessels
*''Lupo class frigates'' (1977-2001): 4 vessels - sold to the Peruvian Navy
*''Vittorio Veneto Cruiser'' (1969-2003): 1 vessel
*''Audace class destroyers'' (1972-2006): 2 vessels
*Gato class submarines:''Leonardo da Vinci'' (S510), ''Enrico Tazzoli'' (S511)
*Balao class submarines: ''Alfredo Cappellini'' (S507), ''Evangelista Torricelli'' (S512), ''Francesco Morosini'' (S508)
*Tench class submarines: ''Gianfranco Gazzana Priaroggia'' (S502), ''Primo Longobardo'' (S501)
*Tang class submarines: ''Livio Piomarta'' (S515), ''Romeo Romei'' (S516)
*Toti class submarines: ''Attilio Bagnolini'' (S505), ''Enrico Toti'' (S506), ''Enrico Dandolo'' (S513), ''Lazaro Mocenigo'' (S514)
*Sauro class submarines: ''Sauro'' (S518), ''Di Cossato'' (S519), ''Marconi'' (S521)

Under Construction (10)

*''Rinascimento'' (FREMM) class frigate: 6 vessels (10 planned), to replace ''Maestrale'' class and Lupo frigates.

Planned (10)

*1 Assault Helicopter Carrier 25,000 tonn
*2 U212A submarines
*1 Orizzonte class anti-air warfare destroyer
*2 improved Etna squadron replenishment ships to replace ''Stromboli'' and ''Vesuvio''
*3 LPD/LHD to replace ''San Giorgio'' ''San Giusto'' ''San Marco''
*1 Logistic and command ship for minehunters
*1 Logistic, rescue and command ship for submarines


! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Aircraft
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Origin
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Type
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Versions
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|In service"World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, ''Aviation Week & Space Technology'', January 15 2007.
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Notes
| Agusta AB212 || || antisubmarine helicopter || AB212 || 30 || built by Agusta, originally 67
| Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King || || antisubmarine helicopter || SH-3D || 12 || built by Agusta, originally 36, to be phased out in 2010
| AgustaWestland EH101 ||
|| multirole naval helicopter || ASW
AEW || 8
4 ||for major unit
4 TTH, 4 ASH and 2 AS2H
for aircraft carrier
| NHI NH90 || || naval helicopter || NFH
TTH || 56 ||
| Boeing AV-8 Harrier || || fighter
trainer || AV-8B
TAV-8B || 15
2 || lost 1 AV-8B
| Piaggio P180 Avanti || || utility transport || P.180 M || 3 ||
| F-35B || || Stealth multi-role fighter||F-35B|| 0 || 22 on order

Source: Wikipedia