Italian Navy Aviation

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Italian Navy Aviation
Aviazione Navale
Naval Ensign of Italy
Active1913-1937
1956-Present
CountryItaly
BranchItalian Navy
TypeNaval aviation
Size2,000 personnel (2015)[1]
Part ofCommander in Chief Naval Fleet
Commanders
Current
commander
Rear Admiral Placido Torresi
Insignia
RoundelRoundel of Italy – Low Visibility – Type 1.svg Roundel of Italy – Naval Aviation.svg
A Marina Militare AV-8B Harrier II aboard Cavour

The Italian Navy Aviation (Aviazione Navale) is the naval air component of the Italian Navy. Composed of around 2000 men and women and 69 aircraft and helicopters, the naval aviation represents a top niche and an enabler for the air-naval instrument.

History

It is more commonly known as Naval Aviation as it received various official designations throughout its service and its origins date back to 1913, when it was created as the air branch of the Navy.[2] The service was then disbanded and integrated into the Italian Air Force, upon the creation of this new branch in 1937, when a law gave control of all national fixed-wing air assets to the Italian Air Force.

Having been reactivated in 1956 to operate the Navy's new shipborne helicopters entering service with the Italian frigates.[3] The ban on fixed-wing aircraft was lifted in 1989, and the Italian Navy acquired Harrier II fighters to fly from the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi.

In 2009, the Giuseppe Garibaldi was replaced as the flagship of the Italian navy by the new and larger aircraft carrier Cavour.

Organisation

The units of the Italian Naval Aviation are based at three civil airports. A small detachment is based at the Italian Air Force's the Pratica di Mare Air Base.[4][5]

  • Air Forces Command (Comando delle Forze Aeree - COMFORAER), in Rome
    • Aerial Section (Sezione Aerea - SEZAER), at Pratica di Mare Air Base with 3x P.180 Maritime liaison planes
    • Navy Aircraft Station (Stazione Aeromobili della Marina Militare - MARISTAER), at Taranto-Grottaglie Airport
      • Aircraft Group (Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati - GRUPAER)
        • Operations Unit (Reparto Operazioni) with AV-8B+ Harrier II fighters (being replaced by F-35B Lightning II)
        • Operational Support Unit (Reparto Supporto Operativo)
        • Operational Informations Unit (Reparto Informazioni Operative)
      • 4th Helicopter Group (Quarto Gruppo Elicotteri - GRUPELICOT QUATTRO)
        • Operations Unit (Reparto Operazioni) with SH-90A ASuW/ASW helicopters and Camcopter S-100 unmanned aerial vehicles
        • Training Unit (Reparto Addestramento) with SH-90A ASuW/ASW helicopters
        • Operational Support Unit (Reparto Supporto Operativo)
        • Operational Informations Unit (Reparto Informazioni Operative)
    • Navy Helicopter Station Luni (Stazione Elicotteri della Marina Militare Luni - MARISTAELI Luni), at Sarzana-Luni Airport
      • 1st Helicopter Group (Primo Gruppo Elicotteri - GRUPELICOT UNO)[6]
        • Helicopter Assault Unit (Reparto Eliassalto) with MH-101A transport helicopters supporting COMSUBIN
        • ASuW/ASW/EW Unit (Reparto AWW/ASW/EW) with EH-101A HEW helicopters
        • Operational Support Unit (Reparto Supporto Operativo)
        • Operational Informations Unit (Reparto Informazioni Operative)
      • 5th Helicopter Group (Quinto Gruppo Elicotteri - GRUPELICOT CINQUE)
        • Helicopter Assault Unit (Reparto Eliassalto) with MH-90A tactical transport helicopters supporting COMSUBIN
        • ASuW/ASW Unit (Reparto AWW/ASW) with SH-90A ASuW/ASW helicopters
        • Operational Support Unit (Reparto Supporto Operativo)
        • Operational Informations Unit (Reparto Informazioni Operative)
    • Navy Helicopter Station Catania (Stazione Elicotteri della Marina Militare Catania - MARISTAELI Catania), at Catania–Fontanarossa Airport
      • 2nd Helicopter Group (Secondo Gruppo Elicotteri - GRUPELICOT DUE)
        • Operations Unit (Reparto Operazioni) with SH-90A ASuW/ASW helicopters
        • Operational Support Unit (Reparto Supporto Operativo)
        • Operational Informations Unit (Reparto Informazioni Operative)
      • 3rd Helicopter Group (Terzo Gruppo Elicotteri - GRUPELICOT TRE)[7]
        • Operations Unit (Reparto Operazioni) with SH-101A ASuW/ASW helicopters
        • Training Unit (Reparto Addestramento) with SH-101A ASuW/ASW helicopters
        • Operational Support Unit (Reparto Supporto Operativo)
        • Operational Informations Unit (Reparto Informazioni Operative)

Aircraft

The Italian Navy's first F-35B Lightning en route to NAS Patuxent River
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
AV-8B Harrier II United States ground attack AV-8B+ 14[8] being replaced by F-35B
F-35 Lightning II United States Multirole F-35B 2 15 ordered in total[8]
Liaison
Piaggio P.180 Italy Liaison P.180 Maritime 3[8]
Helicopter
Agusta-Bell 212 Italy ASuW/ASW
Transport
SH-212A
MH-212B
33[8] being replaced by NH90
NH90 EU ASuW/ASW
Transport
SH-90A
MH-90A
38[8] 46 ordered in total
10 ordered in total
AW101 Italy ASuW/ASW
Transport
HEW
SH-101A
MH-101A
EH-101A
8
10
4[9]
Unmanned aerial vehicles
Camcopter S-100 Austria surveillance 2[10][11]
Boeing Insitu ScanEagle United States surveillance 10[12]

References

  1. ^ "The Present Aviation - Marina Militare". Marina.difesa.it. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  2. ^ "The Naval Aviation - History - Marina Militare". Marina.difesa.it. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  3. ^ "Post War Naval Aviation - Marina Militare". Marina.difesa.it. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  4. ^ "The Present Aviation". Marina Militare. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Comando delle Forze Aeree". Marina Militare. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Primo Gruppo Elicotteri della Marina Militare". Italian Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Terzo Gruppo Elicotteri della Marina Militare". Italian Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e Cite error: The named reference World Air Forces 2020 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ "EH - 101". Italian Ministry of Defense. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  10. ^ "The Aviationist » The Italian Navy is testing a tiny Camcopter drone from its amphibious warfare ship". The Aviationist. 2014-05-31. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Messaggio Forum". Regiamarinaitaliana.forumgratis.org. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Insitu: contract with the Italian Navy for ScanEagle UAS aircraft delivery". Avionews.it. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
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