Italian Naval Aviation
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Naval Aviation

Current Title: Aviazione per la Marina Militare
Title in English: Italian Naval Aviation
Abbreviation: AMM or MMI


Narrative Summary:
The modern Marina Militare was created in 1946 from the surviving ships of the Regia Marina. However, a law dating back to 1937 banned the Navy from operating aircraft. Attempts to acquire fixed-wing aircraft in 1952 were thwarted by the Air Force. In 1955 Naval personel began training with Air Force on the AB.47G helicopter and an aviation unit was established in March 1956. In 1983 a large ASW Cruiser was launched, the Giuseppe Garibaldi, featuring a large flat carrier deck. In 1988 the law against operating fixed-wing aircraft was overturned, and an order placed for AV-8B Harriers. These were delivered from 1991.
Key Dates:
1946    Marina Militare established
1952    Air Force objects to acquisition of naval aircraft in the USA
March 1956    Italian naval air arm established
July 1956    First helicopters received - AB.47G
11 June 1983    ASW Cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi launched
1991    First fixed-wing aircraft delivered - TAV-8B

Current Status:
To be added

Future Plans:
16 EH.101 on order: 8 ASW, 4 AEW and 4 utility variants. Total requirement is for 36 to replace the Sea King.
Planned procurement of 8 more EH.101.
Procurement of 60 NHI NH.90 helicopters planned (46 NFH and 10 TTH in initial order) to replace AB212ASW from 2005.
Additional four AV-8B to be aquired from USMC.
New aircraft carrier 'Cavour' to be delivered in 2008.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):

Italian Navy 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.212ASW MM80941. Some naval helicopter types use four-digits and an N suffix, e.g. SH-3D MM5008N.

MMI aircraft and helicopters also carry an individual code of the form A-BB, where A identifies the aircraft type and BB is a sequential number starting at 01 but omitting the unlucky number 17, e.g. EH.101 2-10. The following type codes are used:

1 Agusta-Bell AB.47G
2 Agusta-Bell AB.47J
3 Agusta-Bell AB.204AS
4 Sikorsky HSS-1/SH-34
5 Agusta A.106
6 Agusta-Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King
7 Agusta-Bell AB.212ASW
8* Piaggio P.166DL3
9* Agusta-Bell AB.412CP
10* ATR ATR-42-400MP
1 McDonnell Douglas AV-8B
2 EHI EH.101
5 Agusta A.109E
9 Piaggio P.180 Avanti
? NHI NH.90

* Guardia Costiera aircraft.


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:
Naval helicopters are divided into five Grupelicot (Helicopter Groups), while the fixed-wing aircraft form a Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati (Carrier Air Group). In addition there is a central Test and Evaluation unit and two small flights for VIP transport.

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 Catania-Fontanarossa, La Spezia-Luni and Taranto-Grottaglie.

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

More Information


Italian Military Aviation Bibliography - to be added.


World Air Power Journal No.1 p.152


Official Homepage of the Italian Navy

wikipedia: Marina Militare

La Nostra Marina Militare Sito Non Ufficiale

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First Created: 10 December 1995 - Last Revised: 17 August 2008
Copyright 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: