Italian Army Aviation
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Army Aviation

Current Title: Aviazione dell'Esercito
Title in English: Italian Army Aviation
Abbreviation: AVES


Narrative Summary:
Established in May 1951, under the name Aviazione Leggera dell Esercito (ALE), but later renamed Aviazione dell'Esercito (AVES) with the retirement of most fixed wing equipment. On 1 January 2000 it was renamed Cavalleria Dell'Aria to reflect its increased offensive role. On 1 December 2003 it was renamed Aviazione dell'Esercito (AVES).

Key Dates:
May 1951    Italian Army air arm established
1956    First helicopters received - AB.47G
1 January 2000    Renamed Cavalleria Dell'Aria
1 December 2003    Renamed Aviazione dell'Esercito

Current Status:
To be added

Future Plans:
Procurement of 150 NHI NH.90 helicopters, including 60 TTH in the first batch, to replace AB.205 and AB.212 from 2004.
Upgrade all A.129 Mangustas to 'International' standard by 2007.
Re-organisation to centralise units at just three bases - Viterbo, Rimini & Lamazia Terme.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):

Italian Army aircraft carry Italian military serial numbers which usually consist of a five-digit number prefixed by the letters MM (for Matricola Militare), e.g. AB.206A MM80639. In addition, each aircraft carries a 3-digit code prefixed by the letters EI- (for Esercito Italia), e.g. EI-578 for the same AB.206A.


Aircraft Designation System(s):
None - Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order

Aircraft NOT Used:
False reports of aircraft on order or in service


Main Headquarters:
Stato Maggiore Dell'Aeronautica, Viale Castro Pretorio, 0100 Roma.

Current Organisational Structure:
AVES is organised into two Brigades, each with two Regiments. A Regiment comprises two or three Grupo Squadroni, which are each made up of two Squadrone. In addition there is Central Command liaison/VIP transport unit and an OCU/Trials & Evaluation unit.

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle:
List of Historical Orders of Battle - to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List:
To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
The main air bases currently used are Bolzano, Cagliari-Elmas, Casarsa della Delizia, Ciampino, Lamezia Terme, Rimini-Miramare, Torino-Venaria Reale and Viterbo.

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
In addition to the main bases there are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Army.
Military Air Bases Listing - to be added.

More Information


Italian Military Aviation Bibliography - to be added.


World Air Power Journal No.1 p.153


Official Homepage of the Italian Army

wikipedia: Italian_Army

Air-Britain: Italian Army photos

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First Created: 1 December 1995 - Last Revised: 17 August 2008
Copyright 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: