Italian Air Force


January 26, 2022

The Italian Air Force (Italian: Aeronautica Militare), is the air force of the Republic of Italy (Repubblica Italiana). The Air Force was founded as an independent branch of the armed forces on March 28, 1923 by Victor Emmanuel III of Italy as the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force). After World War II, when Italy became a republic by referendum, the Regia Aeronautica was given its current name. She played a promising role in Italy's modern military history and her acrobatic exhibition team is the Frecce Tricolori.


First moments and World War I

Italy is one of the nations that has one of the oldest traditions in the field of aviation. In 1884, the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) was allowed to equip itself with its own air component, the Servizio Aeronautico (Servizio Aeronautico), operated balloons based in Rome. In 1911, reconnaissance and bombing missions during the Italian-Turkish War by the Servizio Aeronautico represented the first time that heavier-than-air vehicles were used in any armed conflict.

Regia Aeronautica and Second World War

On March 28, 1923, the Italian Air Force was founded as an independent service by Victor Emmanuel III of the Kingdom of Italy. This armed force was known as the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force). During the 1930s, the fledgling Regia Aeronautica was involved in its first operations, first in Ethiopia in 1935 and then in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939. After a period of neutrality, Italy entered World War II on 10 June. 1940's alongside Germany. Regia Aeronautica managed to deploy more than 3,000 aircraft, however less than 60% of them were operational. She fought from the frozen steppes of the Soviet Union to the sands of the North African desert, losing both men and machines. After the armistice of September 8, 1943, Italy was divided into two sides and the same fate befell the Regia Aeronautica. The air force was divided into the Allied Co-Belligerent Italian Air Force in the south and the pro-Axis Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana in the north until the end of the war. At the end of hostilities, on May 8, 1945, the gates were opened for the rebirth of Italy's military aviation.

The birth of Aeronautica Militare and the Cold War

A popular vote by the Italian people resulted in the end of the Kingdom of Italy and the establishment of the Italian Republic on June 18, 1946. As such, the Regia Aeronautica lost its "Royal" designation and became the Aeronautica Militare, a name that has continued to be used ever since. The 1947 Paris Peace Treaty placed severe restrictions on all Italian armed forces, but then the establishment of NATO in 1949, with Italy as a founding member, brought about the need for the modernization of all Italian Armed Forces, including the Air Force. Italian. United States military assistance was sent through the Mutual Defense Assistance Program, bringing the introduction of US-built aircraft such as the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang, both of which were powered fighter aircraft. to the propeller. In 1952, the Italian Air Force received jet fighters for the first time, F-84G Thunderjets and F-86D Saber, also of American manufacture. The burgeoning Italian aviation industry has also started to develop and produce some ingenious designs of its own, such as the Fiat G91 and Aermacchi MB-326, the Piaggio Aero P.166 and the Agusta-Bell range of helicopters. The first supersonic fighter to serve the Italian Air Force were the F-104 Starfighters which were produced by a group of several European aeronautical companies that included Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, Dornier, Fiat, Fokker, and SABCA. during the years

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