Marina Militare

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Italian Navy
Marina Militare

Coat of arms of Marina Militare.svg

Marina Militare coat of arms
Lineup 1861 as Regia Marina
Country ItalyItaly Italy
Armed forces Italian armed forces
Type Armed forces
structure Admiral Staff (Rome)
  • Fleet Command
    (Santa Rosa, Rome)
  • Logistics command
    (Nisida, Naples)
  • Training Command
Strength 32,000 soldiers
(actual strength 2013)
Headquarters of the admiralty staff Palazzo Marina , Rome
Patron saint Santa Barbara
Chief of the Admiralty's Staff Admiral
Giuseppe Cavo Dragone
Jack of the Marina Militare Naval Jack of Italy.svg
Flag of the Italian Navy Naval Ensign of Italy.svg

The Italian Navy , in Italian Marina Militare (Italiana) , together with the Army , Air Force and Carabinieri, form the armed forces of Italy . The Navy is subordinate to the Admiralty's Staff ( Stato Maggiore Marina - SMM ) in the Ministry of Defense in Rome . By 2012, the target strength was 34,000 soldiers, by 2024 the new staffing level of 26,800 men and women is to be gradually achieved.

Organization and equipment

The Admiral's Staff in Rome is primarily responsible for questions of principle, planning tasks and organizational matters and is bound by the overall planning and instructions of the superior General Staff of the Armed Forces . The Admiral's headquarters are subordinate to three major organizational areas: the fleet command in Santa Rosa (Rome), the logistics command in Nisida (Naples) and the training command in Ancona .

With the exception of the fleet's training center, all naval schools are subordinate to the training command. The reason for the mentioned exception is that one wants to keep the practice-oriented specialist training of the crews in the area of ​​the fleet. The logistics command established in 2013 mainly took over the tasks and facilities of the former coastal section commands . It is subdivided into the area commands “North” ( La Spezia ), “South” ( Taranto ), “Sicily” ( Augusta ) and “Capital” (Rome). Sardinia and the northern Adriatic were added to the command in La Spezia. The naval command ( Comando in Capo della Squadra navale - CINCNAV ) leads the naval forces, which belong to the following sub-commands:

  • 1. (Ocean) Division (COMDINAV 1) ( La Spezia )
  • 2nd (Ocean) Division (COMDINAV 2) ( Taranto )
  • 3rd (Ocean) Division (COMDINAV 3) ( Brindisi )
  • Submarine Forces Command (MARICOSOM) ( Santa Rosa ; Taranto)
  • Air Force Command (COMFORAER) (Santa Rosa)
  • Amphibious Forces Command (COMFORANF) (Santa Rosa; Brindisi)
  • Patrol Forces Command (COMFORPAT) ( Augusta )
  • Mine Force Command (MARICODRAG) (La Spezia)
  • Command auxiliaries (COMFLOTAUS) (La Spezia)
  • Fleet Training Center (MARICENTADD) (Taranto)

Ships and boats of the Italian Navy are assigned to the permanent task forces of NATO or made available for operations of the EU or international organizations as required. Portugal , Spain , France and Italy maintain the periodically operating fleet association Euromarfor . For operations under national command, (mixed) task forces are formed if necessary .


Caio Duilio (D554) and
Carlo Bergamini (F590)
Submarine Salvatore Todaro (S526)

The following larger units have been decommissioned since the turn of the millennium: the flight deck cruiser Vittorio Veneto , two destroyers of the Audace class , four of the original eight frigates of the Maestrale class , eight light frigates of the Lupo / Artigliere class , eight corvettes of the Minerva class and four of the original eight Sauro-class submarines. As a replacement for these ships and submarines, the following were put into service since the turn of the millennium: the aircraft carrier Cavour , two Horizon destroyers, eight FREMM frigates and four U212A class submarines. New to the fleet in the next few years: the amphibious assault ship with a full flight deck Trieste as a replacement for the small carrier Garibaldi , seven "deep sea patrol ships" (frigates) of the Thaon-di-Revel class and initially a supply ship of the Vulcano class as Replacement for very old and small Stromboli class utilities. Two new destroyers are planned to replace the two obsolete ships of the De-la-Penne class, two FREMM frigates (out of 10 originally planned) to replace two ships of this class sold to Egypt , and eight European Patrol Corvettes to replace smaller ones Patrol ships (OPV) (and the already retired Minerva class) and four submarines of the 212A / NFS class for the remaining Sauro boats. This would mean that the fleet would essentially continue to comprise two carriers, four destroyers, around 16 frigates, eight corvettes and eight submarines. In addition, the aging dock landing ships of the San Giorgio class, the minehunters of the Lerici / Gaeta class and other old supply and auxiliary ships are to be gradually replaced by 2030.

Naval aviators

TAV-8B Harrier II landing on the Cavour (550)
F-35B Lightning II of the Marina Militare
AW101 of the Aviazione Navale

The units of the Italian naval aviation are summarized under the term Aviazione Navale . They are subordinate to the Comando delle Forze Aeree (Eng. "(Marine) Air Force Command"), which is based at the fleet command in Santa Rosa. The name Comando delle Forze Aeree (COMFORAER) arose in the course of the restructuring of the naval command areas, with the aim of achieving a certain degree of uniformity in the terms. The Italian naval aviators operate with helicopters and airplanes from the land bases listed below as well as from aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, larger patrol units (OPV), dropships and supply ships. The maritime patrol aircraft belong to the Italian Air Force ( 41º Stormo in Sigonella in Sicily), but are under the operational control of the Navy and have mixed crews.

Helicopter :

  • 22 AW101 (8 ASW, 10 TTH / ASH, 4 AEW; 2 options)
  • 56 NH90 (46 NFH, 10 TTH ordered)

36 SH-3D Sea King were retired . Due to the late delivery of the NH90, some of the former 67 AB212s are still available.

Airplanes :

Bases :

Marine infantry

Since March 2013, the San Marco Brigade has been the new organizational framework for the Italian marine infantry . The brigade , which comprises around 3,800 soldiers, essentially consists of three regiments . The 1st Regiment is a direct successor to the earlier San Marco Regiment, which still includes the amphibious forces of the Navy. If necessary, it is supported by the Lagunari and other units of the army . The three dock landing ships (LPD) of the San Giorgio class and other units are available for transport. The ( boarding ) staff of the 2nd regiment particularly undertakes embargo controls on merchant ships, fighting pirates and other security tasks at sea. In the 3rd regiment, the property protection service of the Navy ( Servizio Difesa Installazioni ), which protects bases and other facilities on land, has been absorbed. Since November 1998 there has been a close cooperation with the Spanish Infantería de Marina .

With the COMSUBIN command unit , which is partly assigned to the special forces , the Italian Navy has had one of the leading combat swimmer units in the world for a long time . In terms of service, she is directly subordinate to the Admiral's staff.

Coast guard

The Guardia Costiera is officially a unit of the Navy, for which it also takes on some support tasks. De facto , however, it is an independent organization that reports to the Ministry of Transport and is also financed by it. In an emergency, the Italian Coast Guard can be subordinate to the Ministry of Defense or the Navy.

The Coast Guard has around 11,000 men and women. This workforce is not part of the Italian Navy's target number. The Guardia Costiera staff is largely trained by the Navy. Members of the Navy can join the Coast Guard after a certain period of service. Until 2005 it was possible to do military service with the Coast Guard.

The Hydrographic Institute in Genoa is part of the Italian Navy. Some research and survey vessels are also subordinate to this institute. Among other things, it publishes official nautical charts and nautical manuals and is also responsible for news for seafarers .


Amerigo Vespucci in Norway 2005

The Naval Academy in Livorno ( Accademia Navale di Livorno ) enjoys a very good reputation in Italy . All future officers of the Navy are trained there for five years (“ Masters ”). Later training stations are the Naval Leadership Academy in Venice and the Armed Forces Leadership Academy ( CASD ) in Rome. Prospective ship commanders are trained at a special school in Augusta . Like the German Navy with the Gorch Fock , the Italian Navy has one of the most beautiful sailing ships still in existence with the sailing training ship Amerigo Vespucci .

The NCOs of the Navy are trained at NCOs in La Maddalena ( Sardinia ) and in Taranto. The career of non-commissioned officers was fundamentally reformed in Italy in the 1990s. Today the crews and the NCOs without portepee form a kind of common group, while the NCOs with portepee are a separate career, which can be compared with the German "upper service". Young people can start this career straight away after completing two or three years of training (“ Bachelor ”), provided they have the Abitur ( diploma di maturità ). For proven non-commissioned officers without a portfolio, advancement is possible, but is made much easier by having a university entrance qualification.

For teams, a secondary school diploma ( licenza media ) is sufficient , if possible with vocational training ( diploma di qualifica ). But because of the increasing attractiveness of the service in the Navy and the high number of applicants for the officer and the higher NCO career, there are also increasingly teams with a high school diploma.

The Navy has its own high school in Venice , the Francesco Morosini Naval School . Young people can complete the upper level of the gymnasium there and take the Abitur . The school is militarily oriented and the students have the status of soldiers. After finishing school, they can return to civilian life or pursue a military career.


Flag of the Regia Marina with the coat of arms of the former royal house of Savoy
Cruiser Trento of the Regia Marina

The Italian Navy emerged in the course of the unification of Italy ( Risorgimento , 1861), essentially through the merger of the navies of the kingdoms of Sardinia-Piedmont and Naples . At that time it was named Regia Marina ("Royal Navy"). In the first years of its existence, it suffered from the inconsistent composition and above all from the rivalries between officers from different schools. For this reason she lost two ships near Lissa in 1866 . Admiral Benedetto Brin first introduced systematic fleet planning in the 1870s and reorganized the navy in other areas as well.

In the two world wars , numerous soldiers of the Italian Navy stood out through individual actions, including Luigi Rizzo , Luigi Durand de la Penne and Carlo Fecia di Cossato . During the Second World War, the construction of aircraft carriers , which began too late , the lack of cooperation between the navy and the air force, the lack of fuel, the lack of radar and the success of the cryptologists in Bletchley Park, UK, made the Italian fleet inferior in large parts of the Mediterranean . Thanks mainly to the deciphering of the German and Italian communications , the supplies of the Axis powers to North Africa could in part be sunk in a systematic way, especially at night. Despite the disadvantages mentioned, Italian naval units at Punta Stilo , Cape Teulada or in the Gulf of Syrte showed that they could take on comparable allied units in daylight. Night-time operations, on the other hand, could end in disasters such as at Cape Matapan .

In 1946, in the course of the abolition of the monarchy , the Italian Navy adopted the name Marina Militare ("Kriegsmarine"). After the last Allied restrictions were lifted in 1950, the company relied on a small but technically high-quality fleet. Italian companies such as Fincantieri , Oto Melara and Selenia also followed this new line . In the mid-1970s, a so-called “naval law” gave the Italian Navy a boost. Most of the modern and balanced fleet that was created in the following years is still in service today, but is being gradually replaced. Due to the ongoing budget problems, the Navy has had difficulty in getting new projects off the ground in recent years, mainly in the context of international cooperation that reduces development and unit costs. The trend towards a small, but technologically advanced (and very expensive) fleet will continue in the future.

flag and emblem

The coat of arms of the Italian Navy shows the emblems of the old medieval maritime republics of Venice , Genoa , Pisa and Amalfi (clockwise) under a Roman ship 's crown . The square jack and the naval flag also show the emblems of the four cities. Today's Italian Navy sees itself as the successor to these former naval powers.

The naval flag is also used by the boats of the Coast Guard, the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza . The crown above the four coats of arms is not depicted on the civil trade flag , and in the coat of arms of the Republic of Venice, the winged lion of St. Mark holds a book instead of a sword. This flag is used by the merchant navy and all other private Italian vessels . Since 2003 there has been an official flag for seagoing vessels of civil authorities , on which the emblem of the Italian Republic is depicted.

See also

Web links

Commons : Marina Militare  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Vincent Groizeleau: L'Italie projette de construire deux croiseurs . Mer et Marine, December 6, 2018
  2. Pietro Batacchi: FREMM all'Egitto, importanti novità . Rivista Italiana Difesa, June 10, 2020
  3. European Patrol Corvettes on
  4. Italy wants to buy 4 new U-212 NFS submarines ., February 13, 2020
  5. Pietro Batacchi: Primi dettagli sulle future LPD della MM . Rivista Italiana Difesa, May 27, 2020
  6. Pietro Batacchi: Primi sui nuovi dettagli cacciamine della MM . Rivista Italiana Difesa, June 26, 2019
  7. Overview of the (planned) new buildings on
  8. Legislative Decree 9 November 1947, n.1305
  9. Legge 24 ottobre 2003, n.321